Mazda first offered a rotary engine — famously compact, lightweight, high-revving and smooth — in the 1960s and hit gold when it began powering the RX-7 sports car in 1978. The engine was dropped in 2012 though Mazda has flirted with and studied a revival seemingly ever since.
The MX-30 launched as an EV in Europe late last year, and it went on sale in Japan as a mild hybrid using an existing Mazda piston engine.
Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North America Operations, described the U.S. version as an EV with a rotary-engine range extender in an interview with The Detroit Bureau.
A Mazda spokesperson told Automotive News that the U.S. version "will be available as both a fully electric model and a series plug-in hybrid, featuring a rotary engine. Additional information about availability will be released at the appropriate time."
The MX-30 is similar in size to the CX-3 and CX-30 subcompact crossovers now sold in the U.S. But the MX-30 has "freestyle doors" that open along with the front doors like an extended-cab pickup.