Mazda has revealed a new plug-in hybrid version of its MX-30 SUV, previously only available in fully-electric form. The new version, badged MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV, combines a battery-electric powertrain with an interesting source of petrol power.
Mazda’s historic connection to the Wankel rotary engine has seen the firm launch iconic sports cars using the pistonless combustion method in some of its most iconic sports cars, and has powered the firm to Le Mans 24 Hour victory too. Now, this unconventional power source has been revived for the electrified era.
Officially, the new MX-30 is a ‘range-extender’ hybrid. This means the petrol engine is not there to provide any direct drive to the wheels, and instead acts purely as a generator for the MX-30 R-EV’s compact battery pack, providing additional charge when required and ‘extending’ the range that would otherwise be possible.
The compact rotary engine isn’t even a litre in size, with a capacity of 830cc. It provides charge for a compact battery 17.8kWh in capacity (that’s smaller than the all-electric MX-30’s, about half the size), which in turn powers a 168bhp electric motor.