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Mazda's rotary rumor mill keeps spinning, this time for the MX-30 SUV

The battery-electric MX-30 could be the intended recipient of a single-rotor Wankel range extender.

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Sure, it's an EV but what if it also had a buzzy little rotary range extender?

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

For a lot of people, the Mazda brand and the rotary engine are forever entwined, despite the fact that Mazda hasn't built a rotary-powered car since the RX-8 kicked the bucket in 2012. 

Time and distance have done little to soothe people's need for spinning triangles, and the rumor mill for Mazda's return to rotors continues unabated. Still, it would seem that there's a little light at the end of the tunnel for those who are wild for Wankels -- only it's as a range extender for the MX-30, because Mazda's dropping some official hints -- according to a report published Thursday by Autoblog.

The MX-30 debuted in October of last year and is Mazda's first official battery-electric vehicle. It looks a whole lot like the ICE-powered CX-30 crossover we get here, but unlike that vehicle, the MX-30 isn't destined for our shores, partly because it's only packing a range of 130-ish miles on the softball-compared-to-EPA European WLTP cycle. 

A range extender, as seen in vehicles like the Chevy Volt or the BMW i3 would help with that and what would be better than a hyper-compact and relatively power-dense single-rotor Wankel engine? Mazda itself hinted that it was working on something along those lines way back in 2018, and the belief at the time was that it would materialize sometime in 2020, and while we haven't seen it yet, it just makes too much sense to ignore.

It's unlikely that even with the addition of a range extender -- rotary or otherwise -- that we'd see the MX-30 here, but there's plenty of people who would be interested in hearing the old rotary coffee-can-full-of-bees sound on the roads once again, so let's all keep fingers crossed.