Mazda MX-30 R-EV: The Return of the Rotary

Mazda MX-30 R-EV: The Return of the Rotary

The Mazda MX-30 BEV was Mazda’s first all-electric car, launched in 2020, and was an instant winner with customers who were after a pure electric smaller crossover car. However, with its electric range on the smaller size (the Mazda MX-30 BEV has a 124 mile range from full charge), the frustrations felt by many electric drivers at the lack of speed in the development of the UK’s electric charging infrastructure, and years of promising the return of a new rotary engine, Mazda have delivered! The Brussels Motor show 2023 saw the world premier of the eagerly awaited Mazda MX-30 R-EV.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Mazda MX-30 R-EV

The Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is the second plug-in hybrid in Mazda’s range (the first being the larger Mazda CX-60 PHEV), and utilises the much loved rotary engine and the freestyle doors last seen in the RX-8. With the same exterior and interior styling as the fully electric MX-30, the new model R-EV combines use of an extremely compact and light newly designed single-rotor petrol engine as a generator and a 125kW/168bhp electric motor (which ultimately powers the car) to deliver a unique hybrid vehicle unlike any other.


How does the MX-30 R-EV work?

Inside the MX-30 R-EV, the rotary engine works simply as a generator. Typically, a PHEV has a mechanical connection between the petrol engine and wheels, allowing the vehicle to be powered by battery or the internal combustion engine. However, unlike other PHEVs, in the Mazda MX-30 R-EV, the wheels are driven exclusively by the electric motor (as they are in a fully electric vehicle), and Mazda uses the rotary engine as a generator to simply charge the battery. This results in the drive and handling of the vehicle to be the same as a fully electric car – giving you uninterrupted electric propulsion at any point.

The Rotary Engine in the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV

What is the range of the Mazda MX-30 R-EV and how does the drive compare?

With full charge, the 17.8 kWh battery is able to deliver around 53 miles of pure electric range, with a 20-80% charge taking as little as 25 minutes. Adding in a 50 litre petrol tank brings the car’s total range up to 373 miles. The result is a car that can cover most people’s daily commute using fully electric power, always drives like a fully electric car, yet without the range anxiety that many pure EV drivers feel! Thanks to this unique approach to the PHEV model, behind the wheel, the drive of the two cars is incredibly similar! When driving, you have the choice between modes: Normal, EV mode and Charge. Top speed, regardless of mode, is 87mph.

How is this rotary engine different to previous models in the Mazda range?

Unlike previous rotary powered vehicles in the Mazda range, notably the RX-3, RX-7 and RX-8, all which used a two-rotor rotary engine as the sole source of power, the Mazda MX-30 R-EV uses the newly designed single rotor rotary engine as a generator, to power the electric motor which in turn drives the vehicle. The engine itself is an 830cc single-rotor unit, with a 120mm rotor radius and 76mm rotor width. It’s larger in capacity than the 13B engine used in the RX-8 but smaller and significantly lighter, with aluminium used for a large part of the engine structure.

Engine efficiency and fuel economy is improved by the use of direct fuel injection, reducing the tendency for the fuel/air mixture to collect at the back of the combustion chamber and not fully combust. There’s also an exhaust gas recirculation system, operating mostly at low rpm to prevent cooling loss – a struggle in a rotary which has a greater surface area than a piston engine of equivalent capacity.

The engine’s total output is 73bhp at 4,700rpm.

What spec levels are available?

The Mazda MX-30 R-EV will largely mirror the standard spec levels available for the standard MX-30 EV (Prime Line, Exclusive Line and Makoto) with the added launch edition: Edition R, which celebrates and pays homage to Mazda’s Rotary engine. Alongside features such as Apple CarPlay, Euro NCAP’s maximum five-star rating and high quality materials, the Mazda MX-30  R-EV makes for an exciting daily drive. Find out more in our complete guide to the Mazda MX-30.


Unconventionally, pricing for both the Mazda MX-30 BEV and MX-30 R-EV are identical. View the latest pricing and Mazda MX-30 offers.

At T W White & Sons, we deal in both new Mazda’s and used Mazda’s. We have been helping families to find the perfect vehicle for their needs for over 50 years. So, if you’re looking for more information on either of the Mazda MX-30 models, get in touch, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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