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Mazda starts mass production of the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV

posted on 28/06/2023
Mazda starts mass production of the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV

Mazda Motor Corporation started mass production of the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV for the European market at its Ujina Plant No. 1 in Hiroshima today. The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is Mazda’s first mass production vehicle with a rotary engine in 11 years since the Mazda RX-8 was discontinued in June 2012. Mazda has cumulatively produced over 1.99 million rotary engine vehicles.

The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is a unique plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that gives a new purpose to Mazda’s unique rotary engine. This compact, lightweight internal combustion engine drives a generator that either charges the battery or provides additional power if needed. The vehicle is always driven by the electric motor.

While the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV’s 17.8KWh battery and 53-mile battery electric driving range is sufficient for most daily driving needs, the rotary engine extends the driving range if needed. The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is the ideal vehicle for customers who would like to drive electrically most of the time and travel longer distances occasionally without range anxiety.

The MX-30 embodies Mazda’s multi-solution approach to move towards carbon neutrality. Natural products like cork and fabrics made from recycled material were adopted in the design process. The MX-30’s multitone paint is applied with a high-precision spray gun that spreads the individual colours precisely onto the surface where they are needed and significantly reduces paint loss. Moreover, the newly developed paints harden at an unusually low temperature of approximately 80°C. Together, these steps reduce CO2 emissions of the multi-tone painting process by approximately 34% – 37%. A 1.1 MW solar power system that went operational at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in July 2021 supplies electricity to charge the newly produced MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV vehicles before shipping them.

Arriving in the UK this autumn, the unique Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV series plug-in hybrid joins the pure electric Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv in Mazda’s electrified line-up. The Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV is a series plug-in hybrid that offers the same customer values as the pure electric Mazda MX-30, while simultaneously offering new ways of using a car as a battery electric vehicle. With no mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels, the rotary unit simply acts as a generator, ensuring the MX-30 R-EV always drives via the electric motor to deliver a seamless EV driving experience.

With more than half a century of expertise in the development of rotary engines, Mazda selected the rotary powerplant for this application due to its unique ability to produce the required output from a small, light and easily packaged unit. The rotary engine is placed neatly alongside the generator and high-output motor in the engine bay. The combination of the 17.8kw battery and 50-litre fuel tank create a unique series plug-in hybrid with a flexible total range of over 373 miles, while a WLTP CO2 output of just 21g/km ensures class-leading environmental performance.

Compatibility with both AC charging and rapid DC charging is another benefit, meaning 3-phase AC charging takes around 50mins, while for maximum customer flexibility, DC rapid charging can be completed in around 25 minutes. The Mazda MX-30 R-EV has three drive-modes to suit different driving situations: Normal, EV and Charge, and thanks to a 125kw/170ps output, it delivers slightly better acceleration performance than the 145ps fully electric MX-30.

Available to order now, for UK arrival in the autumn, the Mazda e-Skyactiv R-EV is offered in the same highly specified grades as the all-electric e-Skyactiv MX-30: Prime-Lime, Exclusive-Line and Makoto – while bespoke to the R-EV, the range is topped by the Edition R. Revealed on the Brussels Motor Show in January, this limited edition launch model has stand out features inside and out, and is offered exclusively in the unique colour combination of Jet Black with Maroon Rouge side pillars and a black roof.

With the R moniker standing for return, just 400 Edition R models will come to the UK to celebrate the return of the rotary engine. The Maroon Rouge colour accent pays homage to the roof colour of the Mazda R360 – Mazda’s first passenger car. Inside, the front seat headrests are embossed with the rotary symbol and Edition R name, while the mats feature the rotary badge and a single white line of 2.6mm stitching matching the width of the rotor apex seal grooves. The same nod to the rotor apex seals can be found on the sculpted sides of the key, which also features horizontal sides that curve at the same angle as the sides of the rotor.

All versions of the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV feature a rotor badge on the front wings and an e-Skyactiv R-EV badge on the tailgate. Unique wheels differentiate the R-EV: Prime-Line with a dark grey finish and Exclusive-Line, Makoto and Edition R a black diamond cut finish. With the MX-30 range starting at £31,250 - Prime-Line and Exclusive-Line R-EV models are priced identically to the BEV version, giving customers ease of choice with price parity. Makoto R-EV models demand a small £450 price premium over the pure electric version and at the top of the MX-30 range is the R-EV only Edition R - priced at £37,950 it is limited to just 400 examples in the UK.

Between the launch of the Mazda Cosmo in 1967 and production of the RX-8 ending in 2012, Mazda mass-produced just shy of 2 million rotary engines. Adapted to meet the needs of our times the rotary engine is now back being used as a power generator rather than a drive unit. The new 8C rotary engine is a 830cc single rotor with a 120mm rotor radius and 76mm rotor width, its compact size enables coaxial placement and integration with the electric motor, decelerator and generator to achieve a unit with an overall width of less than 840mm, allowing it to fit under the bonnet without changes to the MX-30 body frame.

Thanks to the use of aluminum the engine is over 15kg lighter than the twin-rotor Renesis engine used in the RX-8. The use of direct fuel injection reduces emissions and increases fuel economy, while the engine also features an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system to improve efficiency at low rpm and low load running. With a 50-litre fuel tank the rotary generator allows for long-distance travel without the need for regular fuel station stops.

A 17.8kwh battery was chosen to ensure a enough capacity for a 53-mile electric-only driving range while at the same time considering the environmental impact of the battery over the entire vehicle life cycle. The MX-30 R-EV’s high output 122kw/166ps electric motor can produce up to 260Nm of torque, while the new R-EV retains the same relaxed, accurate and engaging driving experience as the pure-electric MX-30.

The MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV features three driving modes: Normal, EV and Charge, however the choice of mode does not affect maximum vehicle speed. Normal mode delivers electric drive as long as there’s enough battery charge. If more power is required than the battery level can deliver - for example, when accelerating - the rotary engine generator will activate based on the degree of accelerator opening and supply the battery with more power. Thus the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV delivers outstanding acceleration performance and ensures drivers can always enjoy the car.

Drivers can turn EV mode on when they want to stay in electric drive for as long as possible. This mode will ensure the vehicle uses electric drive exclusively until the battery is completely drained. It should, however, be noted that if the driver needs to accelerate suddenly and purposefully depresses the accelerator pedal significantly beyond a certain point (equivalent to the kickdown switch function on a standard automatic transmission vehicle), the rotary engine will activate and generate the power needed for the car to accelerate as powerfully as possible.

Charge mode can be used to safeguard the necessary amount of battery for situations such as the need to save zero emissions running for particular urban environments, additionally drivers have the option of setting the amount of battery charge they want to reserve in increments of 10%. The generator will activate when battery charge drops below the specified reserve level, charge the battery to the set level, and maintain that level of charge. Once battery charge is above the set level, the car will operate in the equivalent to Normal mode until the battery depletes to the specified level. It will then use the rotary engine generator to keep the battery at that level.

Commenting on the start of Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV production, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director, Mazda Motors UK, said: I’m really excited about the new MX-30 R-EV joining our electrified line-up in the UK this autumn. A great example of Mazda’s challenger spirit, thanks to its unique technological approach, it’s a car that’s the perfect solution for customers who want an electric car for everyday usage but the flexibility to undertake longer journeys without the reliance on charging infrastructure. With the option to choose either the pure electric MX-30 or the new R-EV version depending on their needs, our customers now have even more choice. Whichever version they choose they get the same seamless electric drive experience, engaging handling and first-class cabin, which features unique materials and premium design. It’s the latest example of how Mazda’s Multi Solution Approach ensures we have cars to suit all our customer’s needs by improving environmental performance with a combination of electrification and clever internal combustion engine technologies”.

Adding, “with production now starting, I can’t wait for the car to arrive in our dealerships and be delivered to the first customers.”

*Article Source http://www.insidemazda.co.uk/

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