Mazda is bringing the rotary back, not in a screaming banshee of a rear-wheel drive coupe but as a range extender for electric vehicles.

    “As part of multi-electrification technologies, the rotary engine will be employed in Mazda’s small-segment products and be introduced into the market in the first half of 2022,” Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto said at the launch of the MX-30 in Japan this week.

    The remarks were made to Automotive News, and the Hiroshima-based automaker has confirmed the MX-30’s third variant will feature an electric motor driving the wheels, while an on-board rotary engine is capable of recharging the batteries when required.

    Since the discontinuation of the RX-8 in 2012, the company has continued working on rotaries and hinted the engine type will make a return, albeit not in the form which would excite enthusiasts the most.

    In Japan, the MX-30 will initially be availably only with a 24V mild hybrid drivetrain.

    This setup has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 115kW of power and 199Nm of torque, a six-speed automatic, and a starter-generator capable of adding 5kW and 49Nm to the mix.

    It’s unclear if the mild-hybrid system will be made available in MX-30s sold in export markets.

    In contrast, the MX-30 is offered in Europe solely as an electric vehicle. It’s fitted with an electric motor, rated at 107kW of power and 270Nm of torque, driving the front wheels.

    Hooked up to a 35.5kWh battery, the MX-30 is said to have a driving range of 200km using the WLTP standard.

    The MX-30 has yet to be confirmed for Australia. In August, a Mazda Australia spokesperson told CarExpert “a decision will be made before the end of 2020”.

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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