Mazda will finally revive the rotary engine, but it no longer stands to be that powerful high-revving exciting engine we’ve known it to be.
After many years of rumours, teasers and prototypes, Mazda will finally revive the rotary engine. Don’t get too excited though, because the Wankel engine isn’t in a Mazda sports car, as it will only act as a range extender powerplant for the MX-30 EV.
Apparently, the Wankel engine will only operate at a constant speed to provide energy to the MX-30’s puny battery. This according to Mazda is their solution to extend the driving range of their EV, where now the MX-30 will have the benefits of an electric drivetrain but with the range of a normal car.
The MX-30 has a 35.5-kilowatt-hour battery that only offers an EPA-estimated range of 161 kilometres, so with the range extender in play, the car can probably double or triple up its driving range which should make it into a very usable car.
The displacement of the Wankel range extender engine has yet to be unveiled and that’s a shame, as we’re pretty curious to see just how big it is. Even in rotary powered cars like the Mazda RX-7 and RX-8 the Wankel engine was pretty small, so just imagine how cute it would be in the MX-30.
With the range extender in place, it’s still unclear whether Mazda would give the MX-30 a bit more grunt because it potentially can, but at the very least, they should give the electric motor a bit more juice just to compensate for the extra weight incurred by the range extender.
Many details regarding the MX-30 with range extender engine are still undisclosed, but we’re pretty keen to see how Mazda would explain how this Wankel powerplant is different from the ones of yesteryears, as the traditional Wankel engines was notoriously known for having lousy fuel consumption as well as emissions, which killed it off in the first place.
There’s also the big question now of what we should call the upcoming MX-30, because in a traditional sense, it sounds more like a hybrid rather than a pure electric vehicle.
Whatever it is, well know more in January 2023, as Mazda has promised to introduce it during the Brussels Motor Show in a couple of months.