The Mazda MX-30 R-EV doesn’t look like much

The Mazda MX-30 R-EV doesn’t look like much

And such a rotary engine increases expectations. As a car enthusiast, you hope to get a unique thrill when you hear the word ‘vibration’ in these quiet times. I remember that familiar hum from early test drives when I was allowed to whip the Cosmo, RX-7 or RX8. Tears stamped the pages of my car memory book as unique memories. And so in 2023, I dream of challenging my best judgment in a film where you know your hero will be given no more than a supporting role in his twilight years. And then you still give him a moment of glory that you can hopefully enjoy. Thanks to the star of Le Mans 787B that dried the trees at Le Mans straight with a scream louder than Agent Orange in Apocalypse Now. But duty calls, so we eliminate manic musings.


Asking about the pure electric range helps, because then you have to report that the 17.8 kWh battery pack won’t get you more than 85 kilometers. There are now various plug-ins that reach more than a hundred kilometers. But with that special addition to extend the range you can drive no less than 680 kilometers without refueling or recharging. That’s in contrast to the fully electric MX-30 EV, which with its 35.5 kWh battery pack can travel up to two hundred kilometers on a charge.

© Mazda

But why does Mazda choose that rotary engine? Because technically it is not complicated in many respects and it has few parts. Because it is an engine that works with discs and not with cylinders, pistons, camshafts, crankshafts, valves and chains. This simple construction is an advantage. Other advantages include less weight and less vibration. Because the engine has fewer parts, less maintenance is required; In addition, the construction is more compact. This was also the case with earlier models. In addition, the concept had disadvantages. Initially, Wankel engines had a high consumption of fuel and oil. But these are things that Mazda has eliminated after many decades.


Now they think it’s the right time to use the rotary engine as the MX-30 electric generator. Because it has only one disc and an engine capacity of only 830 cc, it can be very compactly integrated into one unit with an electric motor and transmission. The entire front-wheel drive is only 85 centimeters long, about the length of a standard four-cylinder. The rotary engine has a power of 74 hp, the total drivetrain is 170 hp and 260 Nm power. So is it a technical masterpiece? Yes and no, because the question is whether it is also a success that will get a big number. That seems impossible, the technology is too special for that. And there are no major persuasive benefits. But Mazda has the technology in-house and is using it, because every gram of CO2 savings is valuable in this environmental battle.

© Mazda

Driving experience

What remains is the driving experience, is it fundamentally different and perhaps more pleasant? The answer is unfortunately no. When the rotary engine starts working, you won’t hear anything special, other than a hum. Like previous plug-ins with a range extender, such a self-propelled fuel engine is not an addition that makes the experience more enjoyable. As with most plug-ins with CVTs, it’s a matter of expectation, not asking too much of that combustion engine. Then you almost forget that gasoline is still burning on board, because the whole action takes place in the wings.

© Mazda

The driving experience is no less, because the MX-30 drives well as always and the driving experience is top notch all around. Creativity, like technology, is still special, but it is also a very distant bridge to the public. It’s special, but it’s also invisible, because that special technology won’t make sense to most people. However, with its special appearance and special technology, it receives an originality award from us. Anyone who is in the market for a compact plug-in should give this white crow a try.

Together: great technology / great range / high build quality / original design / great driving experience.min: range extender occasionally sounds confusing/otherwise silent.

Final decision

An original car of the line with special technology. It’s not perfect, because the rotary engine is very loud on the highway. Unfortunately not a good engine sound.

Mazda MX-30 E-Skyactiv R-EV specs

  • Price: €36.990
  • Top speed: 140 km/h
  • Acc. 0-100 km/h: 9, 1 ch
  • Average WLTP consumption: 1.0 l/100 km
  • CO2 Emissions: 21 g/km
  • Net / total battery capacity: nb/17.8 kWh
  • WLTP range plus/EV: 680 km/85 km
  • AC/DC-laden: 11 kW/36 kW
  • Engine: electricity balance. motor
  • Power generation: 1 disc rotary engine, 830 cc, 75 hp
  • Max. total power: 170 pk (125 kW)/9000 min-1
  • Max. total torque: 260 Nm/4481 min-1
  • Transmission: one step reduction gear
  • Empty mass: 1778 kg