Mazda MX-30 test, the return of the rotary engine

Mazda MX-30 test, the return of the rotary engine

Mazda has always been a different brand. After evolving from a corkscrew manufacturer at its core, to a machine tool specialist and finally to an automobile manufacturer in the 1960s, the Japanese democratized a special mechanism, the rotary piston engine! A technology returning to the automotive world after a ten-year absence. Immerse yourself in the world of Mazda!

Before Mazda, it was the German company NSU that first started, in 1964, on the rotary engine, also called the Wankel engine, named after its creator Felix Wankel. But anyway, how does this procedure work? The family loved this engine. Les Frey, Mazda dealer since 1971 in Augsburg, Germany. For 3 generations, they have been collecting examples of the brand, so much so that they opened a museum in 2017 where 55 of the 150 cars in the collection are on display.

It is impossible to talk about Mazda without mentioning the legendary 787B, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991. To date, the Japanese model is the only one with a rotary engine to win the first endurance race! Beyond its bright green and orange color, it’s the incredible sound of its speed that still makes hair stand on end! Mazda has long believed in its engine. The proof is that one of its most recent iconic models, the RX-8 released from 2003 to 2012, was equipped. A 4-door sports coupe with doors that open in disgust, a real UFO in the automotive industry at that time.

Despite its power, the RX-8 faltered due to the inherent flaws of the rotary piston engine. In other words, high fuel consumption and very high CO2 emissions are no longer compatible with anti-pollution standards.
What to calm Mazda? Well no, the Japanese manufacturer, stubborn to some, stubborn to others, is trying to make a comeback with its beloved engine. But this time in a more sensible way, as an addition to its first electric SUV, the MX-30.

Its operation is simple, its front driving wheels are powered by a 170 horsepower electric unit. At the same time, a 75 horsepower rotary piston engine takes care of recharging the small 18 kWh battery. Mazda advertises a range of 80 kilometers in all-electric mode and around 700 in hybrid mode. Recharging is relatively fast due to the battery capacity. Allow 25 minutes on the fast terminal and 1h30 on the main socket.

A shame, especially since the MX-30 R-EV is as standard equipped as its price point, starting at 38,000 euros. Perhaps with better fuel efficiency or a greater 100% electricity rate, the challenge could be met. But one thing is certain, more than 60 years after its creation, the rotary engine is still not dead!