mazda mx-30, mazda mx-30 2023, mazda news, mazda suv range, hybrid cars, industry news, showroom news, small cars, plug-in hybrid, green cars
Mazda’s iconic rotary is back!

Mazda’s modern take on its iconic rotary powertrain will finally break cover this month, with the technology to debut at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13th, local time.

But this is not the fire-breathing RX-9 you’ve been waiting for, with the technology instead to be deployed in the MX-30 as a range extender, where the rotary engine will be used to recharge the onboard battery, extending driving range. Similar to how a plug-in hybrid would operate, only the rotary would power the battery and electric generator, rather than the driving wheels.

“Faithful to its multi-solution approach to the global challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Mazda will introduce a new powertrain option for its MX-30 at the Brussels Motor Show 2023,” the brand said in a statement.

“Available on the European market from the spring this year, the unique plug-in hybrid powertrain of Mazda’s compact crossover will feature an electric generator powered by a newly developed rotary engine.”

Mazda in Australia has its hands in the air for the model, likely to be called the MX-30 R-EV, telling CarsGuide recently that the rotary technology was “fundamental to the company”.

“Absolutely the plan is to take (the MX-30 range extender),” Mazda’s marketing chief, Alastair Doak, told us recently.

“(Rotary) was fundamental to the company. And even you don’t ‘get’ rotary, the fact that this little company from Hiroshima has this innovation and challenger spirit to the status quo, and they go and do these things that are pretty cool and different, and they make them work and they sell them around the world.

“From that point for view it’s a perfect fit for the brand.”

It’s the first rotary produced by Mazda since the brand killed off the RX-8, and while the MX-30 R-EV is hardly a performance car replacement, the relaunch of the engine technology does see the brand take a step closer to a true performance car revival.

Evidence has begun to point to the technology also powering a genuine performance vehicle, which could act as a successor to the RX-8.

mazda mx-30, mazda mx-30 2023, mazda news, mazda suv range, hybrid cars, industry news, showroom news, small cars, plug-in hybrid, green cars
The RX-9 could be developed alongside the Toyota GR GT3.

Mazda in Australia, or globally, is yet to comment on future rotary plans, but in Japan it has filed patent documents for a new triple-rotar (one more than the RX-8 offered) Wankel hybrid engine, with the engine finding a home in a sporty-looking, but as yet unidentified, RWD hybrid model.

Japanese site Best Car Web recently reported that the new model could launch as soon as 2023, claiming it could be developed in partnership with the Toyota GR GT3 Concept, revealed at Tokyo’s Auto Salon.

According to the site, the GR GT3 shares its basic dimensions with the Mazda RX Vision concept, with both measuring the same 4590mm in length, and each only a handful of mm different in terms of width, height and wheelbase. According to the reports, Mazda will at last launch the RX-9 with hybrid-rotary power (though the brand is yet to confirm anything officially), and will target power outputs of around 370kW.

Closer to home, Mazda has trademarked a new sporty-looking badge in Australia, with the logo seemingly channeling the Spirit R examples of the RX-7 and RX-8.

The new logo is a white ‘R’ set against a grey and red background, and looks remarkably similar to the Spirit R badge that adorned the hi-po variants of the RX-7 and RX-8. The application appears to be for the Australian market to adopt the international filing – first lodged in Japan – with the local application made in Australia on April 14 last year.

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