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Friday, October 22, 2021

Mazda rotary range-extender isn’t dead, locked in for 2022

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Reports that Mazda has killed off its rotary range-extender hybrid MX-30 look greatly exaggerated.

Stories were kicking around in July saying that Mazda had shelved the project, though in fairness they came from highly regarded sources such as Automotive News and Japan’s Nikkei business daily.

In refutation of this, as Mazda this week detailed plans for five new models, it also quietly confirmed cars using a rotary as the generator were coming next year.

“We will carry out sales promotion activities for Mazda’s first mass-production EV, the MX-30, and introduce models which incorporate multiple electrification technologies that use a rotary engine as a generator from the first half of 2022,” the company said.

The quirky MX-30, already sold in Australia, currently comes with a petrol engine with an extremely mild hybrid electrical system, as well as a city-focused electric version.

The range-extender rotary MX-30 (which we expect to be the product in question) will probably use said rotary petrol engine to spin the motors beyond the urban EV range.

We’d expect a plug-in hybrid with direct motor drive.

Mazda has made no secret of its goal to keep its signature rotary tech front and centre – any unique technology is strong marketing.

From an Australian perspective, Mazda’s local management has said in no uncertain terms that it is very keen to bring any rotary range-extender MX-30 here as a halo product.

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