Rumors have been circulating about Mazda’s interest in adding the iconic rotary engine to its future green-focused models. However, the company has not revealed too much about these plans, until now, with Mazda confirming that the MX-30 PHEV will be making its debut next week at the Brussels Auto Show.
MX-30 PHEV Will Spearhead Rotary Revival
Mazda, for its part, didn’t reveal too much information about the model but showed a symbol that will accompany the new model. It’s a tasteful mixture of the basic shape of the rotary engine with a small lowercase “e” in the center. This symbol will also reflect the rotary engine’s new role, with the engine being used as a secondary power source to help give the MX-30 more range when buyers embark on longer journeys with it.
This would help greatly enhance range, with a pure electric MX-30 only getting a mere 100 miles of range between charges. That small range and the need for a dense urban charging network have limited the U.S. distribution of the MX-30 to California and even forced Mazda to use an innovative vehicle loaner program for MX-30 owners looking to go on longer journeys. The rotary’s appearance will also allow Mazda to gain accurate world data, especially regarding what would be needed to add the rotary range-extending engine to other Mazda PHEV models.
Before this confirmation, the last appearance of a rotary production engine was in 2012 when the RX-8 rode off into the sunset and was retired, with Mazda extensively using the powerplant in one way or another since the 1960s before this happened.
When Will We See It?
After its debut in Brussels, the MX-30 PHEV will go on sale in European markets this spring. There’s no word on if the U.S. will get in on the act. Still, with our country being one of the strongest SUV markets on the planet, it wouldn’t shock us if Mazda decides to pull the proverbial trigger and bring the MX-30 to our shores, especially in sprawling urban centers where the MX-30 can perform at its full potential.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.