When the Mazda MX-30 was first launched, it was always going to have three powertrain options – a hybrid, a pure EV designed for the city, and a range extender EV for people who need more range than the 224 km range that the pure EV version gets.

The range extender version was initially planned for a launch in the first half of 2022, but was postponed. It looks like it’s finally going to get its release at the Brussels Motor Show 2023 this month. The range extender version was meant to also finally bring back the rotary engine into production.

Mazda released this logo of what is presumably a new logo for the rotary range extender system together with the press release announcing the coming debut. They called it a plug-in hybrid in the press release.

The current hybrid version of the MX-30 uses the automaker’s e-SkyActiv G powertrain comprising of a 2.0 litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that is augmented with a 24-volt M Hybrid system and a six-speed automatic transmission. The total system output is 155 PS and 200 Nm.

The EV version uses a 145 PS and 271 Nm torque electric motor driving the front wheels, powered by a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery allowing a range of up to 224 km. The pure EV version of the Mazda MX-30 is on sale in Malaysia for RM199k.

The question now is what role will the rotary engine play here. Will the “plug-in hybrid” be based on the EV version, with the rotary engine just functioning as an electricity generator to recharge the lithium ion battery? Or will the rotary engine be able to drive the wheels directly in some way?

More detail will be revealed this week at Brussels 2023.

GALLERY: Mazda MX-30 EV in Malaysia