2023 Mazda MX-30 R-EV debuts – PHEV with rotary engine range extender; 85 km EV range; 50L fuel tank

2023 Mazda MX-30 R-EV debuts – PHEV with rotary engine range extender; 85 km EV range; 50L fuel tank

Mazda has brought back the rotary engine, but not in the way you remembered it if you have fond memories of the past RX cars like the RX-3, RX-7 and RX-8. Instead, the rotary engine now serves as a generator in the new MX-30 R-EV, which made its debut at this year’s Brussels Motor Show.

Visually, the electric vehicle (EV) with a range extender doesn’t look very different from its full EV stablemate, with notable revisions being available wheel designs and the placement of new logos that is reminiscent of the three-sided Wankel rotor.

The new model will be available in ‘Edition R’ guise, which features a black-based exterior and Maroon Rouge Metallic interior trims as well as a remake of the roof color of Mazda’s first passenger vehicle – the Mazda R360 Coupe – as an exterior accent color. It also includes exclusive design elements such as a rotor-shaped emblem sewn into the floor mats and embossed on the seat headrests.

The rotary engine used is dubbed the 8C, and it has a capacity of 830 cc, with quoted outputs being 75 PS (74 hp or 55 kW) and 116 Nm of torque. The 8C is Mazda’s first production rotary engine since 2012 and features side intake and exhaust ports like the Renesis unit in the RX-8, although it does get direct fuel injection, an aluminium rotor housing and thicker apex seals of 2.5 mm.

Operating just to generate electricity and not to the drive the wheels, the petrol mill sits at the front and juices an underfloor-mounted lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 17.8 kWh. That’s half the capacity of the MX-30 EV’s battery, with Mazda quoting a combined all-electric range of just 85 km (110 km for city driving) following the WLTP standard.

Said figure is not particularly impressive, but that’s before accounting for the rotary engine supplying power to charge the battery on the move. The MX-30 R-EV has a 50 litre fuel tank, which should give it a substantial range advantage compared to its sibling – Mazda isn’t providing a total range figure just yet, but we’re told it’ll consume 1l/100 km of fuel.

The series hybrid system also has plug-in capability, and with the reduced battery capacity, it takes about 50 minutes to fully charge the battery with a maximum AC input of 11 kW (1.5 hours with 7.2 kW). As an alternative, there’s also DC fast charging at up to 36 kW (the MX-30 EV can do 50 kW) to go from a 20-80% state of charge in 25 minutes. There’s also a 1,500-watt auxiliary power port in the car should you want to power appliances.

Another unique feature of the MX-30 R-EV, aside from the reduced range anxiety, is the electric motor. With outputs of 170 PS (168 hp or 125 kW) and 260 Nm, there’s more horsepower but less torque when compared to the MX-30 EV’s 145 PS (143 hp or 107 kW) and 271 Nm.

Don’t expect a huge performance bump, as the 0-100 km/h sprint takes 9.1 seconds (MX-30 EV takes 9.7 seconds) and the top speed is still limited to 140 km/h. The fact that the MX-30 R-EV weighs 1,778 kg, or about 130 kg more than the full EV version, also contributes to these numbers.

Drivers will be have three modes for the e-Skyactiv R-EV powertrain at their disposal, with Normal generally operating like a regular EV, but will bring in the engine to maintain charge during high acceleration. Meanwhile, EV mode forces the car to run on electricity until the battery is depleted, or if the accelerator pedal is depressed far enough. Lastly, Charge mode lets driver set a battery level for the car to achieve and maintain it.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.



  • Zap84b1 on Jan 16, 2023 at 4:23 pm

    this more usable compare pure ev mx30

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
    • Yes, for 80km. After that, it has less power than a Saga 1.3 from 1985…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15
      • kckfen on Jan 16, 2023 at 6:38 pm

        Rotary engine is for electricity power generator lar, the motor torque is 260Nm lar way more tham potong saga

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
        • Power is calculated by multiplying torque with angular velocity. More torque doesn’t mean that the generator can produce more power. It doesn’t matter if the torque is higher or the angular velocity (rpms), the power is still the same.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16
      • Haidi on Jan 16, 2023 at 11:28 pm

        Please get your fact right.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
    • 85 EV KM for wat ah? Not even worth to bother as it is not practical. Drive from Seremban to KL ady run out of EV power.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
      • Anonymous on Jan 22, 2023 at 8:04 pm

        First people complain that there’s not enough range. Then when there is a range extender they complain there’s not enough “pure EV” range.

        You don’t depend on the battery alone, that is the whole point of having a RANGE EXTENDER. If you want greater pure EV range then get an EV with 2-3 times the battery size. This is not a mild hybrid. 85km in pure EV is enough for daily commute for most people.

        Not practical? Sure you can deplete the battery in a Seremban-KL trip but that is not how you are supposed use it. You’ve paid for the generator, use it. Use the engine to maintain the battery charge (thereby EXTENDING the battery range) on your way to KL. You can then use the car as a pure EV again once your destination is within the battery range. You could use the car as pure EV within KL and Seremban, using the engine only for the drive between the two cities. How is that not practical?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  • Wiraturbo on Jan 16, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    1l/100km, then this car’s range is 5000km?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • The first 80km (pure electric) are not included in the calculation, so the real fuel consumption is 1l/20km or 5l/100km after the battery runs dry.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
      • Kapchai on Jan 16, 2023 at 5:57 pm

        The battery should not goes dry,

        “Charge mode lets driver set a battery level for the car to achieve and maintain it”.
        If charging mode doing @ 5L/100km or 20km/L, it is not the more efficient one out there despite only using 830cc Engine.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
        • Exactly. Example: The Mercedes-Benz S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID has a claimed consumption of 2,8 l/100 km only.
          The result of the WLTP driving cycle is missleading.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Exactly, it should be proven to reach 5000km from 50L fuel tank.

      Otherwise this 1L/100km is Misleading?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  • Huck Phin on Jan 16, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    Will Mazda offer the 8C as a crate engine?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Bingung on Jan 16, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    So it can do 5085km on a full tank and full charge?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Haidi on Jan 16, 2023 at 11:27 pm

    Elephant in the room, wonder what new tech did Mazda use to improve the reliability of the rotary engine. Very interested to know about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • the 1L/100km is the usual marketing scam as obtained in homologation cycle, which includes 85km driven in electric. The hybrid fuel economy is just 14-15km/L

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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