Auto enthusiasts have been impatiently waiting for the return of the ever-popular rotary engine. Mazda unexpectedly announced that it will soon be bringing it back in the all-new MX-30 electric crossover.
Mazda’s CEO confirmed that the classic engine will operate as a fuel-fed generator to increase the driving range of the MX-30. Not yet available in the United States, this head-turning technology is expected to debut in Japan in 2022.
Unlike the current gas-powered Mazda CX-30, the exciting new MX-30 will be an all-electric vehicle.
Utilizing classic rotary engine technology
Wankel, a West German automaker, developed the rotary engine technology in the early 1960s. Mazda licensed the engine, and in 1967 introduced the first production rotary engine.
In a typical gas-powered engine, the pistons pump up and down to spin the crankshaft. In a rotary engine, rounded-off triangular rotors gyrate inside a specified housing. The cycles of combustion occur between that housing and the rotor.
Several years ago, Mazda attempted to bring back the technology in the Mazda 2, and in 2015 there were rumors that the RX-7 would have a new-generation rotary engine. Despite consumers’ enthusiasm for a rotary engine in a sports car, such as the RX-7, the prototype never came to fruition.
The all-electric Mazda MX-30 crossover will be the long-awaited recipient of the rotary engine technology. Although industry analysts say they would have preferred to see it installed in a quicker vehicle, they are still excited at the prospect of a high-performance electric vehicle.
Mild-hybrid version of the MX-30
Currently available in Japan is a Mazda MX-30 mild-hybrid version that includes a 2.0-liter gas engine paired with an electric motor. The platform of the MX-30 is shared by both the Mazda CX-30 and Mazda 3.
A limited 100th Anniversary edition of this mild-hybrid will include embossed headrests, upgraded carpeting, and countless advance features. The modern styling will make the Mazda MX-30 mild-hybrid stand out among the competition.
Not yet available in the United States, Car and Driver is predicting the MX-30 SUV will make its splash into the American market in the next few years.
Environmentally friendly features of the Mazda MX-30
In the MX-30, the electric engine works as a generator to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack. Other electric vehicles such as the BMW i3 and Chevrolet Volt attach the engine to the drivetrain.
The highly-anticipated Mazda MX-30 will feature an environmentally friendly interior to match its green performance capabilities. All-natural and sustainable materials enhance the look and feel of the interior. The material on the door trim and in the breathable upholstery fabric is made from recycled PET plastic water bottles.
The center console tray will appeal to environmentalists concerned with saving trees. The console tray is created from “Heritage Cork,” which is harvested from the bark of a tree. This unique material eliminates the need to cut the tree down, saving countless forest groves.
The Mazda CX-30, the gas-powered version of the MX-30
The Mazda CX-30 is one of the most popular crossover vehicles on the market today. Car and Driver said, “The CX-30 is either an SUV for car people or a car for SUV people, but either way its fun-to-drive nature makes it one of our favorite vehicles.”
The all-new model carries the same perky engine as the Mazda 3. Albeit gas-powered, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers good fuel economy and is fun to drive.
While consumers wait to see if and when the Mazda MX -30 becomes available in the U.S., the CX-30 delivers in performance, safety, and affordability. It’s a great Mazda product to consider while waiting for the electric version to show up.