BRUSSELS -- Mazda has revived its rotary engine a decade after discontinuing the cult powerplant by adapting it for the electrification era.
The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV plug-in hybrid, which debuted at the auto show here Friday, uses a gasoline rotary engine as a power generator that along with a 17.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery helps give the small crossover an electric-only range of 85 km (53 miles).
Mazda said that amount of range should allow customers to use the car in electric mode for a most of their daily driving needs. The 85 km target was decided on by Mazda after gathering data on customers’ real-life range needs.
The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV’s rollout makes good on a promise by Mazda to resurrect the rotary engine after retiring the technology in 2012 when it discontinued the RX-8 sports car.