For those who have rekindled their romance with Mazda and its proprietary rotary engine, turn away. The Japanese automaker said that the rotary engine working as a range extender for the MX-30 isn't happening in the first half of 2022 as originally confirmed.
In a report by Automotive News, Mazda spokesman Masahiro Sakata said that the company is still considering the use of a rotary engine as a range extender, but the timing of its introduction is now uncertain.
Gallery: 2021 Mazda MX-30
Early this year, Mazda North America has confirmed that the MX-30 with the rotary engine range extender will be coming to the US. With this recent development, though, American fans eagerly waiting might have to wait a bit further.
There's a bit of uncertainty with this, however. Japanese media reports say that Mazda has scrapped the rotary engine range extender completely because it needed a bigger battery, therefore, making the vehicle too expensive.
With that said, Mazda's rotary engine will still return but as a power-assist technology for series and plug-in hybrid offerings. This allows Mazda to reduce the size of the battery, thus, lessen cost at the expense of more frequent engine usage.
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The Automotive News' report also mentioned that the plug-in and series hybrids equipped with rotary engines will be unveiled sometime between 2022 and 2025. The engines won't be directly powering the wheels, though, and will act as generators – the same way Nissan's self-charging e-Power works.
At this point, Mazda's plan to resurrect the rotary engine has become blurry again after getting so much attention in the past two years. Guess we can take comfort in the fact that it's in the backburner but still in the plan, nonetheless.