Full circle: Rotary-powered Mazda MX-30 R-EV production begins

Not only has the 2023 Mazda MX-30 R-EV rotary plug-in hybrid been revealed, it’s now in production, truly making it a reality. Production started Thursday. This is a momentous event since Mazda

hasn’t built a rotary-powered car for just over a decade.

That last rotary was the 2012 RX-8, which used a 1.3-liter twin-rotor engine. The final engine was built on June 22, 2012,

exactly 11 years ago. The MX-30 R-EV’s engine is an 830-cc single ro tor paired with a 168-horsepower electric motor, the latter of which provides all the forward propulsion. The rotary engine on the other hand simply produces electricity.

These first MX-30 R-EVs are destined for Europe, and will be on sale starting this fall. The regular electric MX-30 has been much more successful in Europe than other markets with more than 15,000 sold (as opposed to sales in the triple digits in the U.S.

). Supposedly, Mazda will launch this plug-in hybrid
in the U.S., which would be much more practical in America than the 100-mile EV version, but the time frame is unclear
, assuming it happens.

Mazda also noted that at the end of RX-8 production, the company had built 1.99 million rotary cars over its history. So now we’ll be curious to see if this powertrain sees 2 million, either through around 100,000 MX-30 R-EV sales, or with as yet unannounced rotary-powered models.

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