The Mazda MX-30 has been confirmed to gain a rotary engine as a range extender for the crossover’s electric powertrain, Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto said in a streamed video, according to Autoblog, though unfortunately the video appears to have been set to private.

This was initially reported in August just ahead of the MX-30’s Japan market debut, though now Marumoto has said that the company will begin testing with a small batch of prototypes next year, according to the report. News of the rotary engine range extender was confirmed in 2018, at the same time the Hiroshima-based automaker announced that all of its models will be either hybrids or EVs by 2030.

Prior to the announcement in 2018, Mazda had developed a Demio (Mazda 2) electric prototype that also featured a rotary engine as a range extender; this was a 38 PS 330 cc single-rotor engine. Incorporated into the car’s electric powertrain, the development vehicle could attain a range of 380 km, which nearly doubled that of the original Demio EV that could do 200 km without the range extender.

Mazda MX-30 coach doors and interior

Specific details regarding the range extender rotary engine for the MX-30 have yet to be revealed, and no other plans for the rotary range extender motor beyond its future application in the MX-30 have been announced. Currently, the MX-30 electric vehicle powertrain – dubbed e-Skyactiv – is a single electric motor with 141 hp and 264 Nm of torque, driving the front wheels.

The fully electric crossover is feed by a 35.5 kWh battery with prismatic cells and supports both AC and DC charging, the former accommodating a maximum input of 6.6 kW through a Type 2 connection. DC charging is via a CCS connection, where up to 50 kW can charge a depleted battery up to 80% in around 30 to 40 minutes, according to Mazda.

On the design front, the MX-30 draws from a past model in using coach rear doors – otherwise known as suicide doors – as seen on the RX-8. Mazda calls these freestyle doors, which open up to 80 degrees, while the fronts open up to 82 degrees.

As for our Malaysian market, local distributor Bermaz Auto had initially planned to bring the MX-30 into the country by the end of this year, though this has been delayed to the first quarter of 2021 due to the pandemic, and it will be the e-Skyactiv G mild-hybrid rather than the fully electric version, as the company thinks that Malaysian infrastructure is not ready.

GALLERY: 2020 Mazda MX-30 EV