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Mazda MX-30 plug-in hybrid complete with rotary generator still on

Mazda confirmed with Roadshow the rotary generator will still be onboard the PHEV when it launches, contrary to previous reports.

Mazda MX-30
It's still happening.

Don't sweat, rotary fans. Mazda still plans for the funky engine to return in a new form. Mazda on Tuesday confirmed with Roadshow that the upcoming MX-30 plug-in hybrid is still a go, and it will launch with a rotary generator as promised. The confirmation follows a Sunday report from Automotive News explaining the automaker put the rotary range extender project on hold.

A Mazda spokesperson told Roadshow, "I can confirm next year's launch timing for the Mazda MX-30 plug-in hybrid EV is not delayed. The MX-30 plug-in hybrid will operate as a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator."

According to the initial report, citing Japanese media reports, Mazda scrapped plans altogether for the rotary range extender due to cost. The report said the MX-30 would have required a larger battery to make the powertrain system work, leading to a higher-than-expected price tag. The spokesperson did not speak directly to these details and only confirmed a rotary is still the plan for the brand's cutesy plug-in hybrid.

The MX-30 will first launch in the US in a battery-electric flavor, initially in California, this fall. Then, the crossover will make its way across the rest of the country. Next year, the plug-in hybrid will launch. Despite the rotary engine onboard, it will never directly power the wheels. Instead, it'll fire up to charge the battery when needed. Range estimates for the plug-in aren't available yet, but the MX-30 EV does 124 miles on a full battery on foreign test cycles. It could be lower on the EPA cycle, so don't expect the car to smash records, but do expect a lot of style from the car in any flavor.