Something is brewing at Mazda, and it could be more rotary news. The automaker shared a teaser video on YouTube, focusing on the past and then transitioning to the future. The teaser is apparently aimed at the US market as well, because it comes from the Mazda USA YouTube channel. An “unboxing” will happen on January 12, so we don’t have long to unravel this mystery.
Fortunately, there are several clues that point us towards the electric MX-30 gaining a new rotary engine as a range extender for US buyers. The big tamale is a recent announcement from Mazda clearly stating an MX-30 R-EV with a rotary is coming, though the debut is slated to take place January 13 at the Brussels Motor Show in Belgium. The debut announcement specified availability for European buyers beginning in the spring. No other markets were mentioned.
Gallery: 2022 Mazda MX-30: First Drive
Meanwhile, around the same time this Mazda USA teaser went live, the automaker announced pricing and availability for the 2023 MX-30 in the US, still sold exclusively in California. That press release doesn’t mention a range-extending rotary engine, but the timing of the announcement and the teaser is too coincidental to ignore. Furthermore, an MX-30 R-EV debut in the very early hours of January 13 at Brussels would equate to January 12 in the States.
With all that in mind, let’s talk a bit about the teaser. Prominent Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada walks between a row of iconic Mazda vehicles, many – but not all – packing classic rotary engines. Acknowledging Mazda’s past, he moves to a darker room with several boxes, calling them Mazda’s future. None of the boxes are car-sized, but some could contain batteries, fuel tanks, and a small Wankel engine to “unbox” the new MX-30 R-EV.
Admittedly, it could also be something else entirely. But we find it hard to believe Mazda would tease two separate announcements taking place in the span of one day.
The biggest criticism against the MX-30 is its short 100-mile range. While Mazda bills the MX-30 as an urban vehicle, competitors in the electric SUV realm are offering well over twice the range. A small rotary engine running at a constant speed to charge the battery pack could be an economical solution while also pulling at the heartstrings of rotary enthusiasts.
In any case, all will be revealed on January 12 – possibly late in the day if this does indeed tie with the official MX-30 R-EV debut in Belgium.
Source: Mazda via YouTube
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