Mazda has confirmed it is to bring a range-extender version of its MX-30 electric car to the UK, with sales starting in the summer of 2023 after a debut at the Brussels motor show in January.
The car, which will be known as the MX-30 R-EV, has been rumoured since the launch of the battery-only version of the MX-30 was launched in 2020. The official range of 124 miles and slow charge rates have limited the pure electric car's appeal and it was clear there was space under the bonnet for another power source.
The company is now putting the finishing touches to the new model, which is expected to use a tiny new petrol engine which uses a rotor instead of pistons. Mazda has been a staunch supporter of these type of powerplants – known as a Wankel – despite historical concerns with fuel consumption and long-term reliability in cars such as the RX-7 and RX-8.
It has thought the company has overcome these with the tiny new engine which runs at a constant speed to generate power to keep the battery charged. The 38bhp unit will extend the range of the MX-30 to around 250 miles. As the fully-electric range is still more than 70 miles, the MX-30 R-EV will have many of the tax benefits of pure electric cars.
There are no other range extender hybrids currently on sale in the UK since the demise of the popular BMW i3 REX.