Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV wins Innovation Award at Top Gear Electric Awards 2023

The Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV and its unique rotary generator unit have won the Innovation Award at this year’s Top Electric Awards. Having made its European debut at the Brussels Motor Show in January, the unique Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV series plug-in hybrid will arrive in the UK later this year where it will join the pure electric Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv in Mazda’s electrified line-up.

A series plug-in hybrid that offers new ways of using a car as a battery electric vehicle, the R-EV has a 17.8KWh battery and a 53-mile pure electric range, while using Mazda’s unique rotary engine technology, the all-new 830cc single-rotor petrol engine acts as a generator to enable longer distance drives without range or charging anxiety. 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.

Commenting on the award, Top Gear, Editor, Jack Rix, said: “It might not be connected to the wheels in any way, and yes a successor to the Le Mans-winning 787B would have been nice, but the rotary is back… and that makes us very happy indeed.” ​

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 400 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, 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 stand, 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. 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, which is limited to just 400 examples in the UK.

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