Mazda launches plug-in hybrid variant of the MX-30


Mazda is adding a plug-in hybrid version to its battery-electric MX-30. Now unveiled at the Motor Show in Brussels, the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is the announced new variant with a Wankel engine as a range extender.

While the wheels are driven solely by the electric motor, the newly developed rotary engine provides additional range. Mazda gives the purely electric WLTP range of the new 125 kW PHEV version as 85 kilometres. Significantly less than the BEV version, because the battery for the PHEV has been shrunk by half and only has a 17.8 kWh capacity. By comparison, the purely electric Mazda MX-30 has a 35.5 kWh battery for a WLTP range of 200 kilometres.

When sprinting, the 1.7-tonne five-seater needs 9.1 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h. Mazda specifies a top speed of 140 km/h. The price of the new MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV in the UK starts at £31,250, just like the all-electric variant. Customer orders will be available from Mazda dealers from 1 February 2023.

It has been known for some time that Mazda is planning to introduce this variant. However, in the summer of 2021, a Mazda spokesperson was quoted in media reports as saying that the market launch for this variant was uncertain. In the autumn of the same year, however, the project was given the green light.

Mazda has now published details of the serial plug-in system: the solution comprises a newly developed single-disc rotary engine with a chamber volume of 830 cubic centimetres. It has a maximum output of 55 kW and operates with direct petrol injection and a compression ratio of 11.9:1. This unit is combined with a 125 kW AC synchronous motor at the front, which drives the wheels alone. The rotary engine, on the other hand, is coupled to a generator that produces electricity for the electric motor and battery. Also on board: a 50-litre fuel tank in front of the rear axle.

Like the battery-electric Mazda MX-30, the plug-in hybrid is equipped as standard with a three-phase AC charger for a charging power of up to 11 kW. DC charging is also possible: “At a DC fast-charging station with at least 36 kW charging power, the battery is charged from 20 to 80 percent in about 25 minutes,” says an accompanying press release. This means that the plug-in hybrid only charges at a maximum of 36 kW at peak times.

The BEV version also had weak DC charging performance when it was introduced. Before a software update in spring 2022, the MX-30 supported single-phase AC charging with a maximum of 6.6 kW and DC charging “from 20 to 80 per cent SoC in 36 minutes”. Since the update, the model offers 11 kW AC and “a reduction of ten minutes at DC fast charging stations with at least 50 kW power”. This means that the DC charging capacity should be a maximum of 50 kW. The manufacturer does not give any concrete data.

As is well known, the software update recently caused trouble for Mazda. Shortly before Christmas, Mazda Germany had to impose a delivery and first registration ban on the MX-30, which was only lifted on 12 January. The reason was “that the EC type-approval of the Mazda MX-30 2022 contained an incorrect indication of the technical specifications, which had to be corrected by a correction of the EC type-approval”. This concerned information on the DC charging of the battery after said software update.