What is it?
The Mazda MX-30 R-EV Diesel 2023 is Mazda's innovative approach to the modern electric vehicle (EV) market. This unique crossover blends Mazda's historic rotary engine technology with modern electrification, creating a range-extended electric vehicle (R-EV). Sitting alongside the fully electric MX-30, the R-EV aims to address the range anxiety of the EV sibling, offering a more versatile driving experience without compromising Mazda's distinct design ethos.
Engine and Performance: Exploring the Range Extender Tech in the MX-30 R-EV
The Mazda MX-30 R-EV's defining feature is its innovative range extender technology, which hinges on the inclusion of an 830cc rotary petrol engine. This engine, however, is not your traditional combustion engine driving the wheels; instead, it acts solely as a generator for the vehicle's electric motor and battery system.
Rotary Engine as a Generator
The core of the MX-30 R-EV's range extender technology is the new-generation rotary engine. Rotary engines are known for their smooth power delivery and compact design, making them ideal for this application. This 830cc engine, featuring a single rotor, is specifically designed to generate electricity, which then charges the 17.8 kWh battery pack. The engine itself produces 73bhp, but it's crucial to note that this power doesn't directly translate to wheel drive; it's purely for generation purposes.
Impact on Vehicle Weight and Range
The integration of this rotary engine as a range extender adds approximately 150kg to the vehicle’s weight compared to the all-electric MX-30. This increase in weight is a trade-off for the extended range. On a full battery charge, the R-EV claims a 53-mile range, which is less than the MX-30 EV. However, with the rotary engine continuously generating electricity, the overall driving range extends significantly, potentially reaching around 400 miles, thereby addressing the range anxiety often associated with EVs.
The MX-30 R-EV offers three driving modes - Normal, EV, and Charge - each designed to manage the battery charge level and the engagement of the rotary engine. In Normal mode, the car aims to maintain about a 45% battery charge, utilizing the rotary engine as needed. EV mode forces the vehicle to operate on electric power only until the battery depletes, while Charge mode allows the driver to set a desired state of battery charge, with the rotary engine activating when this level is reached or dropped below.
Interior, Features, Technology, and Practicality of the Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Interior Design and Comfort
The interior of the Mazda MX-30 R-EV closely mirrors that of its all-electric counterpart, the MX-30 EV. It boasts a contemporary design that combines both style and functionality. The cabin features eco-friendly materials, including cork and recycled fabrics, aligning with Mazda's commitment to sustainability. The layout is driver-focused, with intuitive controls and a comfortable driving position.
Features and Technology
- Infotainment System: The MX-30 R-EV is equipped with Mazda's latest infotainment system, which includes a touchscreen display, smartphone integration, and a range of connectivity options.
- Digital Instrument Cluster: A clear and informative digital instrument cluster provides essential driving information, including range and battery status, especially pertinent in the R-EV for monitoring the rotary engine's impact on charge levels.
- Safety Technologies: Mazda includes a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in the MX-30 R-EV, featuring technologies like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.
- Space and Comfort: The MX-30 R-EV maintains the same interior space as the standard MX-30 EV. The rear-hinged 'suicide' doors offer a unique approach to access but might require some adjustment in tight parking spaces.
- Boot Space: Boot space is adequate for the vehicle's size, suitable for day-to-day needs and moderate luggage. The presence of the rotary engine does not significantly impact the cargo space compared to the MX-30 EV.
- Seating: The vehicle comfortably accommodates up to four adults, with ample front space and reasonable rear seat room, although taller passengers might find the rear a bit snug.
- Driving Experience: The interior design contributes to a pleasant driving experience, with well-damped road noise and a focus on driver engagement.
The Mazda MX-30 R-EV is a fascinating blend of Mazda's unique rotary engine heritage and modern electric vehicle technology. It's a quirky, idiosyncratic family car that addresses the range limitations of its EV counterpart while maintaining the brand's distinctive design and driving dynamics. This vehicle is best suited for those who can regularly plug in to maximize the electric range, offering an engaging and environmentally friendly driving experience. Mazda has successfully injected new life into its rotary technology, making the MX-30 R-EV a compelling option for those seeking something different in the electrified market.