Bangkok 2024: Mazda MX-30 R-EV showcased – rotary range extender EV; no plans for Malaysia launch

Mazda Thailand chose this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) to showcase the MX-30 R-EV, which is a version of the brand’s first mass-production electric vehicle (EV) with a rotary range extender.

Revealed globally in January last year, the rotary engine (codenamed 8C) in the MX-30 R-EV has a capacity of 830 cc and is rated at 75 PS (74 hp or 55 kW) and 116 Nm of torque. The 8C (spot the new exterior badges) is Mazda’s first production rotary engine since 2012 and features side intake and exhaust ports like the Renesis unit in the RX-8, but with direct fuel injection, an aluminium rotor housing and thicker apex seals of 2.5 mm.

Located under the bonnet, the engine’s sole purpose is to generate electricity to charge an underfloor-mounted lithium-ion battery that has an energy capacity of 17.8 kWh. For those keeping track, the regular MX-30’s battery capacity is higher at 35.5 kWh.

With the smaller battery pack, the MX-30 R-EV will provide a combined all-electric range of just 85 km following the WLTP standard, which is a lot less than the non-range extender model that offers 200 km. Taking into account the rotary range extender and 50-litre fuel tank, the maximum possible range is claimed to be around 600 km or more.

Bangkok 2024: Mazda MX-30 R-EV showcased – rotary range extender EV; no plans for Malaysia launch

Mazda says the all-electric range is sufficient for daily driving, with the range extender providing assurance if owners need to travel further. As for charging, the smaller battery means it takes just 50 minutes to fully charge the battery at a max AC input of 11 kW.

There’s also DC fast charging at up to 36 kW to get the battery from a 20-80% state of charge in 25 minutes. A vehicle-to-load (V2L) function with an output 1.5 kW is also present to power devices.

Aside from the range extender element, smaller battery and revised charging capacities, the MX-30 R-EV also gets a different electric motor to the drive the front wheels. Rated at 170 PS (168 hp or 125 kW) and 260 Nm, it has more horsepower but less torque when compared to the normal MX-30’s 145 PS (143 hp or 107 kW) and 271 Nm.

At 1,778 kg, the MX-30 R-EV also weighs about 130 kg more than the non-range extender version, although its higher horsepower count does see the 0-100 km/h time drop to 9.1 seconds instead of 9.7 seconds – the top speed stays capped at 140 km/h.

According to Mazda Thailand, the Japanese carmaker is adopting a multi-solution approach to achieving carbon neutrality, and the MX-30 R-EV represents one of the solutions, one that also brings back the iconic rotary engine.

The company has no plans to sell the MX-30 R-EV in Thailand for now. In fact, the regular MX-30 isn’t even sold there, unlike Malaysia that welcomed the EV back in June 2022. We’ve checked with Bermaz Motor and were told it currently has no plans to bring in the MX-30 R-EV for now.

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