• 2023/04/17

MAZDA MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV Powered 8C RE Revealed in Japan for the First Time

On Friday, April 14, the annual “Automobile Council 2023” kicked off at the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall in Chiba, Japan, running through April 16. The theme of the Mazda stand was “Pursuing the Potential of the Rotary Engine and the Challenge of New Values,” and the exhibition featured the remarkable MAZDA MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV, which uses the 8C rotary engine as its power generation unit, which is being revived after an 11-year absence; the 1975 The Cosmo AP, which took on the challenge of exhaust gas purification, and the 2005 Hydrogen RX-8, which took on the challenge of utilizing hydrogen fuel, are all on display in the exhibition space. Also on display is a completely restored version of the MX-81 concept car that was exhibited at the 1981 Tokyo Motor Show, the origin of the MX-30.


At the Mazda Press Conference held first thing in the morning on the same day, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer Yasuhiro Aoyama, made the following speech. “I myself have had many opportunities to feel the powerful passion of rotary engine fans since I moved to my current position: the expectations for the RX-Vision at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the fans who gathered at the Miyoshi Proving Ground even when the 50th anniversary event of the rotary engine in 2017 was canceled due to a typhoon, and so on. The fans who gathered at the Miyoshi Proving Ground even when the 50th anniversary event of the rotary engine was canceled due to a typhoon in 2017, to name just a few. As a company that has experienced these experiences firsthand, I would like to begin by conveying our thoughts on behalf of Mazda on the occasion of the unveiling of the MAZDA MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV in Japan. We at Mazda do not want to give up on the rotary engine. We want to keep on making rotary engines. We have stopped mass production of the rotary engine for a while since 2012. We have been worried that the light of the rotary engine would go out, especially among rotary fans. However, the rotary engine is a symbol of Mazda’s spirit of “never stop challenging,” and it is something that we must pass on to the future as part of Mazda’s identity. The rotary engine still has great potential. It is the passion and enthusiasm of all of us at Mazda. We believe that it is important to continue to create them, no matter how many or how little we can do.”


Mazda has used the rotary engine (RE) to tackle a variety of environmental challenges. 1975 Cosmo AP developed a thermal treatment device called a thermal reactor to purify exhaust emissions, and while other manufacturers have responded by reducing performance to reduce exhaust emissions, Mazda The RX-8 equipped with the Hydrogen Rotary, which was introduced in 2005, is supplied to local governments and energy companies to pursue the possibility of alternative fuels for a decarbonized society. The RX-8 is being supplied to municipalities and energy companies to pursue the potential of alternative fuels for a decarbonized society. To promote this internationally, it was brought to the site of the 2010 Le Mans 24-hour race, where it made a demonstration run around the Circuit de la Sarthe, as reported by MZRacing. As for electrification technology, a Demio EV equipped with the Range Extender RE was shown to the media in 2014. In its recent mid- to long-term plan, Mazda has also stated that it will actively utilize RE for electrification technology, and the single rotor RE “8C” will be commercialized as a generator as the first step in this process.


Also on display at the Mazda stand this time is the MX-30 e-SKYACTIV R-EV series motor power generation unit, which was unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show in January. This clearly shows that a single-rotor RE that can be placed in series is ideal as a generator ICE (internal combustion engine) for a compact transversely mounted FWD power unit. Moreover, new attempts to differ from existing REs have been incorporated throughout, including the first direct injection, aluminum side housings, and a single spark plug. Ritsuji Shimizu, the engineer who participated as a core member in the development of the R26B 4-rotor engine that won the 1991 Le Mans 24-hour race and later led the performance development of the FD RX-7 and the design and development of the 13B RENESIS engine for the RX-8, was on hand to explain this 8C engine Ritsuji Shimizu, the engineer who led the performance development of the FD RX-7 and the design and development of the 13B RENESIS engine for the RX-8, is attached as an explainer of the 8C engine. The motor-generating unit is skeletonized so that visitors can see the rotor spinning, and we invite you to get up close and personal with the rotary engine, which is making a comeback after an 11-year absence, and dream of the day when it will once again be the heart of a pure sports car as a power unit.


The MX-81 concept car was restored in 2020 at the request of Mazda Italia. Nobuhiro Yamamoto, who was the leader of the restoration project, bridged the gap, and the model subsequently went to Italy, where it was repainted on the exterior and reapplied genuine leather to the interior before returning to Japan. The Bertone-designed styling has an impact that even today, it doesn’t look old.


Text by MZRacing, Photos by MZRacing and MAZDA


©  MZRacing. All Right Reserved.