And it will have a rotary engine!
While information on Mazda's advanced Skyactiv-X engine coming to the US market has been virtually non-existent, rotary fans are about to freak out when they hear this latest news. A spokesperson from the company has confirmed to CarBuzz that the 2020 Mazda MX-30 will be sold in the United States. This news comes after Mazda previously skirted around questions of the MX-30 being imported to the US market.
“Mazda is committed to continuing to innovate and delivering an engaging driving experience,” the spokesperson told us. “With that in mind, we can confirm we will bring our first electric vehicle, the MX-30, to the US market. The vehicle 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.”
This is huge news, as the MX-30 will act as both Mazda's first EV model in the US and the first rotary-powered model since the RX-8 left production in 2012. The Japanese-spec MX-30 pairs a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery with an e-Skyactiv electric motor producing 143 horsepower. This setup returns a pretty lackluster 143-mile driving range, though the rotary engine should significantly improve the driving distance.
The range extender MX-30 isn't expected to launch in Japan until the second half of 2022, meaning it could be a long wait before it arrives in the US. A prototype version of this drivetrain is already undergoing testing and is expected to deliver around 250 miles of total range using gasoline and electricity. Like the BMW i3, the rotary engine won't drive the wheels but instead act as a generator to charge the batteries.
Aside from its unique drivetrain, the MX-30 also features an unconventional layout with what Mazda calls “freestyle” doors. Like the old RX-8, the MX-30's back doors are rear-hinged, creating a coupe-like side profile. Information regarding the MX-30 in the US is thin on the ground, so there is no word on pricing or potential output with the rotary range extender.