Despite rumors that say otherwise, the Mazda MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV has not been ruled out for the US market. That news comes straight from Jeff Guyton, the automaker’s North American CEO, according to Automotive News.
What makes the plug-in variant of the Mazda MX-30 noteworthy is the potential return of Mazda’s gasoline-powered rotary engine. It’s set to launch this spring in Europe and Japan as a range-extending option for the subcompact crossover. According to Guyton, Mazda made the decision “to prioritize MX-30 rotary for Europe and for Japan where the product is more suited to the roads and those customers. It doesn’t mean it’s a no for the U.S.”
For now, Mazda is prioritizing the launch of the three-row CX-90 for the US market. Ongoing supply chain and production issues have hindered the automaker’s launch of new products. As a result, it’s shifted its strategy to prioritize the right vehicles for each market, tailoring its product lineup to best match consumer preferences. The CX-90 is built for North America and will be Mazda’s first PHEV in the US.
Even as the RX-8, Mazda’s last rotary-powered car, drove off into the sunset, the automaker pledged to resurrect the engine for a future model. The challenge was finding the right way to leverage the rotary’s strengths while overcoming some of its deficiencies.
According to Mazda, rotary engines are a key part of its electrification strategy because of their compact size, which allows them to be easily integrated with components like generators and battery packs. This allows flexibility for creating multiple powertrain options for the same platform.
The new MX-30 R-EV combines a 17.8 kWh battery, providing an electric-only range of up to 53 miles, with a rotary range extender. As a subcompact, it is more appealing to consumers in the Asian and European markets, while US market consumers prefer larger, higher-riding trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.
Should Mazda bring the MX-30 R-EV to the American market, it will coincide with a clear demand for the vehicle. “When Mazda launched the MX-30 and laid out their plan, it did include bringing the range extender here, but the market is going to dictate whether that car does well or not,” said Rob Meyer, chairman of the Mazda National Dealer Advisory Council.
Mazda believes the key to its success is building the right vehicles for each market, manufacturing cars people want to own. According to Meyer, that makes selling them much easier, and he thinks the company is on the right path.