This model will use a rotary engine as a range extender.
The electric range of this version will likely be shorter, but the overall range will be longer than the fully electric variant.
European sales will begin this spring, with North American sales following later in 2023.
When Mazda launched the electric MX-30 in 2021, it announced a plug-in hybrid version powered by a new iteration of its rotary engine.
A bit over a year later, this model is about to be unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13.
The automaker hasn’t released many details about this model yet, but we know it will technically be a range-extending EV rather than a regular plug-in hybrid since the gasoline engine will never directly power the wheels.
Indeed, this means that the rotary engine, which was last seen in production when the RX-8 was discontinued in 2012, will be used as a generator to charge the battery while an electric motor will power the vehicle down the road.
Mazda says this application and the new design of this engine will take care of the quirks that held back previous attempts at rotary-powered vehicles aimed at the general public.
Since rotary engines are very compact and since there is a lot of space under the hood of the current electric MX-30, the range-extending version might not require many modifications.
This means that the plug-in MX-30 should have the same output as the electric variant, which is 147 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque.
One change that is likely to be made however is the use of a smaller battery since there doesn’t seem to be space for a fuel tank in the current version of the compact EV.
This means that the electric range of the plug-in MX-30 could be even lower than the 161 kilometres (100 miles) provided by the 35.5 kWh battery used currently.
Of course, the gasoline engine will provide more overall range and it will allow drivers to go on longer trips by simply filling up at a gas station without having to wait for the battery to charge.
This could make the MX-30 more attractive to buyers that drive around in the city but also need to make regular highway trips.
Mazda says the plug-in MX-30 should arrive on sale in Europe this spring and North American sales are expected to follow shortly since it is expected in time for the 2023 model year, which has already begun.