Mazda's electric MX-30 might gain a rotary engine, but not for the braps
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When Mazda discontinued the RX-8 back in 2012, the Japanese-built rotary engine seemingly died with the controversial coupe. But that could be set to change in a couple of years.
Unfortunately, we aren't talking about the incredible-looking RX-Vision project, or the rumoured RX-9, but instead, the engine will make an appearance in Mazda's upcoming MX-30 SUV.
Before you get excited about the possibility of a funky-looking Mazda SUV brapping its way down a main street near you, the rotary engine won't be used as the vehicle's power source, but instead as a range extender for the battery.
As it currently sits, the fully-electric MX-30 produces 106kW from its relatively small 35.5 kilowatt-per-hour battery setup. This offers a range of just 209km on a full charge, which is significantly lower than what other upcoming E crossovers are offering.
To offset this, the Japanese brand is looking into throwing a small rotary engine into the mix. A previous concept used a 0.3-litre rotary engine that produced 28 kilowatts and weighed just 100kgs. With just a 8.7 litre fuel tank, this engine was able to double the concept's electric range.
Mazda New Zealand previously mentioned that New Zealand will be one offer the first markets that the right-hand drive variant is offered, with sales expected to start early 2021.
We reached out to Mazda New Zealand about this launch date, and it seems that the Covid-19 lockdowns aren't affecting it.