Mazda has revived the rotary engine for its new MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV, a plug-in hybrid model that uses the engine as a range extender generator.

The MX-30 launched in 2020 as Mazda’s first mass production battery electric vehicle, with a mild hybrid model joining the product line in some markets.

The e-Skyactiv R-EV variant is a series plug-in hybrid with an 85km battery electric driving range sufficient for a wide range of everyday driving needs plus the ability to use a generator to enable long distance drives. The entire driving range is electric motor powered.

Levering the unique way in which rotary engines can produce the required output with a small power unit, Mazda developed the new rotary engine to work as a generator and positioned it on the same axle as a high output motor and a generator. It paired this compact electric power unit with a 17.8 kWh lithium ion battery and a 50-litre petrol tank to achieve the claimed unique series plug in hybrid system.

The new version is compatible with both normal and fast charging, has a 1,500w power supply functionality, and three drive modes: normal, EV, and charge.

A special edition model – Edition – has black exterior and interior trims with maroon rouge metallic, a remake of the roof colour of Mazda’s first passenger vehicle, the R360 Coupe, as an exterior accent. It also includes exclusive design elements such as a rotor shaped emblem sewn into the floor mats and embossed on the headrests.