Return of the Rotary: Mazda Plans Dorito Range-Extender for EV

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

return of the rotary mazda plans dorito range extender for ev

Fans of the mythical rotary engine, a powerplant spoken of in hushed tones by Mazda fans ever since the company killed it off about a decade ago, will have something to celebrate after the Brussels Motor Show later this week.

Adding to its portfolio of electrification options, Mazda will be offering a fresh powertrain choice in its little MX-30 crossover, one which features an electric generator powered by a newly developed rotary engine.

Details are scant but what we do know comes from the company’s European branch which spilled the beans this morning. Potentially (and creatively) called the MX-30 R-EV, it’ll incorporate a rotary mill that will act as a range extender to the electric gubbins currently found in the MX-30. Alert readers will recall that model is rated at a slim 100 miles of range on a full charge, perhaps suitable for other markets but not ideal for many Americans.

It'll be interesting to learn if Mazda calls this mashup a plug-in hybrid or a range extender. Taken at face value from what we know today – which isn’t much – your author would categorize it as the latter since it sounds like the rotary will act as a generator for the electric powertrain and never directly power the wheels. A plug-in hybrid, as we know the term right now, can generally push itself down the road on internal combustion if necessary.

But we’ll learn all that once the car is revealed in Brussels. Packaging will also be interesting to see, though anyone who has peered under the hood of an MX-30 will know there are acres of space between the front tires – even with the EV guts in place.

There’s no official word if the MX-30 R-EV will be sold on this side of the pond. If offered, it could drive a stake through the heart of the all-electric MX-30 thanks to that car’s diminutive range numbers. The rotary range extender would help immensely in that regard. Whatever happens, rotary fans will be glad to know Mazda hasn't ended their fascination with the Dorito.

[Image: Mazda]

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2 of 15 comments
  • IBx1 IBx1 on Jan 10, 2023

    We like the rotary because of how it feels to drive with the engine, not simply to have it running occasionally in the background at a steady-state 3,300rpm.

  • Elsorrells Elsorrells on Jan 10, 2023

    I've always thought of the MX-30 more in line with the compliance cars of old(think E-golf or the electric focus), its designed to meet a regulatory requirement, not actually to sell cars. why they put so much work into a car like this makes zero sense to me.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.