Mazda’s rotary-engined models like the RX-7 are nothing short of legendary. And while it’s been just over a decade since the brand pulled the plug on its last Wankel-powered model — with the RX-8 in 20212 — the Japanese brand has now unveiled its latest rotary-equipped car though it’s far from what we were expecting. Rather than being a low-stance, two-door sports car, Mazda has opted to use a rotary mill in its new MX-30 EV.
The MX-30 EV is a compact crossover SUV model that was designed to meet the needs of the average urban commuter, with enough range (roughly 100 miles per charge) to tackle the daily commute and enough cargo space to accommodate camping trips and grocery runs on weekends. In addition to being able to be juiced up using a standard home outlet, Level 3 DC fast charging also allows the MX-30 to go from a 20% charge to 80% charge in just 36 minutes. Good for 168hp and 192ft-lbs of torque, the MX-30 EV is powered by an electric powertrain that sees a gas-fed 0.8-liter single-rotor Wankel engine used to produce electricity for the electric motor as needed, acting more as a generator than a traditional lump.
Alongside a limited MX-30 R-EV Edition R that sports a black body and a dark red roof, the MX-30 EV will initially be offered in two standard versions; a base model; and a Premium Plus variant. The base model comes loaded with an active driving display, a power-sliding glass moonroof, and radar-guided cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. The more high-end Premium Plus-spec MX-30 retains these basic features while also gaining a 360° view monitor, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, and a rear-view monitor with dynamic lines. Riding on a unique set of wheels, all three versions also boasts the full-EV model’s G-Vectoring control, suicide-opening rear doors, and a sporty suspension setup with a MacPherson strut up front and a torsion beam in the rear.
Scheduled to hit dealerships this spring, the 2023 Mazda MX-30 EV starts at $34,110 for the base model and $37,120 for the Premium Plus variant.