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July 12, 2021

Mazda Puts Rotary Engine Plans On Hold

Reports from Japan are coming out that Mazda’s delaying its plans to resurrect its rotary engine indefinitely.

The company’s trademark engine, which was supposed to appear in a plug-in hybrid version of its MX-30 crossover, is said to be encountering problems surrounding costs. Japan’s Nikkei (via Automotive News) says a rotary engine generator will require a bigger battery that would make the vehicle too expensive.

The rotary range-extender version of the MX-30 was slated to debut globally in the first half of 2022, with an eye to the U.S. and Europe.

The MX-30 with its “freestyle doors” was designed to accommodate a range of drivetrains. It was introduced as Mazda’s first mass-produced EV. It was then followed with a mild-hybrid version as well.

The all-electric MX-30 for Europe and Japan uses a relatively small 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery—smaller than even the Nissan LEAF—paired to a 105-kW (143 horsepower) electric motor. In Europe, its range is rated at 200 kilometers.

Mazda designed the MX-30 with a small battery taking into account the emissions required to produce the lithium-ion battery on a “well-to-wheel” basis. Its limited range meant it’s marketed as a “your best second car” in Europe.

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