Mazda confirms rotary’s return but with a differenceJanuary 11, 2023
Mazda has ended close on six years of speculative reports by announcing the return of its iconic rotary engine, but not as a standalone unit as in the RX-7 and RX-8.
Don’t expect a modern 12A or 13B
In accordance with patent documents uncovered back in 2019, the Hiroshima-based automaker confirmed in a statement that the rotary will make its return this coming Friday (13 January) at the Brussels Motor Show as a range extending powerunit for the all-electric MX-30.
While unlikely to please purists following the automaker’s denouncing of not only a RX replacement, but also reviving its much loved MPS moniker, the rotary range extender will reportedly alleviate the current shortcomings of the MX-30 that has allegedly not been the success Mazda had been hoping for.
ALSO READ: Mazda’s rotary return gains yet more momentum
MX-30 set to benefit
Unveiled four years ago with RX-8 inspired suicide rear doors, the MX-30’s comparatively small 35.5-kWh battery delivers 105kW/246Nm and a range of 200 km industry insiders have cited as the main reason for it selling in smaller numbers than expected.
Despite Mazda remaining quiet on the actual specifications of the rotary extender, a report in 2019 alleged it could produce as much as 50kW/100Nm, therefore addressing not only the MX-30’s power deficit, but also its limited range.
In addition to confirming the rotary, Mazda also debuted the unit’s new corporate logo – a lowercase “e” within a triangle representing the rotary’s design – and nomenclature that denotes R-EV rotary electric vehicle.
While little else is known at present, the complete plan of the rotary’s application is expected to become apparent in Brussels later this week once the MX-30 R-EV reveals itself.
South Africa a no-go
Despite the model’s limited success, plans on bringing it to South Africa with or without the rotary appears highly unlikely as the automaker has so far expressed little inserts in bringing the MX-30 to market.
It therefore means that the still strong-selling but dated CX-5 remains Mazda’s flagship crossover/SUV, though back in 2021, it did confirm the still-born CX-70 and CX-80 to be under consideration as part of a five model SUV rollout that has so far delivered the US-only market CX-50 and CX-60.