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The Wankel returns and recharges the electric car

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The Wankel returns and recharges the electric car

Plug-in hybrid Plug-in hybrid or range extender? Call it what you want, but the new e-Skyactive R-Ev version of the Mx-30 compact crossover that brings the Wankel engine back to life goes much further than the full-electric version.

Mazda resurrects the legendary rotary engine after ten years of oblivion, almost an icon of the Hiroshima company, despite having created more than one problem in terms of reliability and efficiency, after an update to make Mazda’s first bev interesting: the Mx- 30. A model, whose diffusion

In the “electric only” version, it was penalized by the range deliberately limited to 200 kilometres, perfect for unleashing range anxiety and so many criticisms. The Wankel engine has only the task of generating current for the lithium-ion battery that powers the electric one and was chosen for its compactness and for the fact that it does not penalize comfort with noise and vibrations. The choice may also have been inspired by a long-term vision, given that the Wankel can be fueled with hydrogen without particular modifications, as Mazda itself already demonstrated in 2003 with the Rx-8 Hydrogen Re.

That’s all? No, because the R-Ev is almost a model in its own right, despite the line and passenger compartment which, save for a few characterizing details, are true copies of those of its full-electric sister. To go beyond the 200 km boundary before plugging into a power outlet and arrive at offering an overall range of more than 600 km (the definitive figure is in the process of being approved) not only was the Wankel used, but the the electric motor, the battery and the technologies that manage energy flows. Thus, inside the bonnet of the R-Ev, in addition to the 830 cc direct injection Wankel single-rotor with 74 horsepower and 116 Nm of torque, there is an electric unit with 170 instead of 145 horsepower and a torque of 260 instead of 271 Nm. electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 17.8 kWh, practically halved compared to that of the other Mx-30, which promises a range of 85 kilometers in the mixed cycle and 110 kilometers in the urban one , thanks to the recovery of energy in slowdowns. Once the charge is exhausted, the Wankel enters the scene, powered by the 50 liters of petrol contained in the R-Ev’s tank. The activity of the powertrain is regulated by three configuration modes: the Normal with which, for example, in the decisive accelerations the petrol engine varies the operating speed a little to supply more electricity, the Ev which leaves the Wankel and the at rest Reload, in case you want to conserve the amount of battery energy to stave off the moment of plugging into an external outlet. The battery can be recharged in alternating current in an hour and a half with 7.2 kW systems and in 50 minutes with 11 kW columns, as well as in half an hour in direct current with the on-board charger which accepts a maximum of 36 kW.

The plug-in hybrid MX-30 will be available from April in the Prime Line, Esclusive Line and Makoto trim levels at prices ranging from 38,000 to 41,000 euros, as well as in the special Advantage versions at 40,000 euros and Edition R at 46,000 euros.

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