Home » The Mazda MX-30 Plug-In Rotary Hybrid Is Coming And The Logo Is Amazing

The Mazda MX-30 Plug-In Rotary Hybrid Is Coming And The Logo Is Amazing

Mazda Rotary

It’s a new week and we’re got a Titan-sized dump bed full of news, starting with the first real timing for the return of the Mazda rotary! Car fans and journos have been waiting for the return of the rotary like Yankees fans have been yearning for a pennant, and for about as long. One of those two groups is going to be made whole very soon.

Plus, we’ve got Toto Wolff (maybe) being a jag, Acura bidding farewell to China, and Rolls-Royce saying hello to euros, dollars, and dirhams.

Rotary Rotary Rotary Rotary

Mazda Cx 30

I’m going to share Mazda’s entire press release, titled “Rotary Engine Reborn for the Electric Age,” because it’s not that long:

Faithful to its multi-solution approach to the global challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Mazda will introduce a new powertrain option for its MX-30 at the Brussels Motor Show 2023. Available on the European market from the spring this year the unique plug-in hybrid powertrain of Mazda’s compact crossover will feature an electric generator powered by a newly-developed rotary engine.

The new MX-30 model will be unveiled on the Mazda stand at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13th 2023, with a press conference at 10:00 CET.

The famous Brussels Motor Show!

This news is surprising to absolutely no one. The gas-powered Mazda MX-30 is a great little crossover with one super annoying problem. The EV is a bizarre, low-mileage offering that’s too expensive for what you get. You can spend $33k for a Mazda that gets 100 miles of range or pay less for a Bolt EUV that gets almost 250 miles!

It makes little sense, unless the company built a Mazda CX-30 with a rotary range extender. The linked article explains how this system’s probably going to work. We have no new details, but we’ll get to see the vehicle in a week and hopefully learn how much extension we get on that range.

We do get to see the badge, though, and the badge is stellar. It’s a little rotor with the letter E in the middle. Perfect. No notes.

Is Toto Wolff Being Toto Wolff, Again?

Toto Wolff

My absolute favorite impression of late is Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, who has become the rare non-driver star in the Formula One paddock. There’s something extra fun about recreating him pleading into his headset during the Abu Dhabi Gran Prix with his dense Austrian accent: “No Michael, no Michael! Dis iz so not right!”

It’s not even that I think was Wolff wrong in that situation, it’s just that the puffed Austrian racing billionaire seems to carry himself with such a stunning lack of self awareness. When Netflix did “Drive to Survive” it was clear, immediately, that Red Bull’s Christian Horner understood the mission: Real Housewives of F1. Horner played the cad, but he played the cad perfectly. Wolff’s team kept winning races and yet, somehow, Horner kept making Wolff look like the silly one. Horner would prod Wolff just a little bit and Wolff would get serious and start grousing and you’d suddenly forget that Mercedes F1 had dominated Red Bull F1 for years.

Lately, though, Wolff has become more hip to the assignment. Wolff’s an extremely smart guy and has sort of leaned into the role of the Big Bad. There are lines, however, not worth crossing. I was quite jazzed last week when Cadillac and Andretti racing announced they were going to try and put together an F1 team.

Then I saw this tweet from FIA head Mohammed Ben Sulayem:

Hmm… Ben Sulayem doesn’t specifically call out who was complaining, which didn’t stop Twitter from automatically assuming it was Toto Wolff:

I can see where this is coming from. When Andretti, sans Cadillac, announced its intention to join F1 last year there was specific carping from Wolff that a new team joining F1 would dilute the amount of money each team gets with no promise they’d raise the sport’s value. He’s probably not alone in this view, but he’s the Big Bad so that’s kinda his job to represent all teams.

Curiously, Wolff came out this morning to say some nice things about the Andretti/Cadillac entry in an interview with media:

“I think Andretti is a fantastic brand and they’ve shown in many other series that they can be competitive,” Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.

“What I’ve said before is ‘What can you add to the show?’ if I’m trying to join up with a big auto company and manufacturer that would invest the same amount of money and activation in the promotion and advertising in the racing – which is what we do – it would be a fantastic add-on.”

[…]

He added: “If we were to add an American team I’m absolutely up for it, but what are you bringing? What are you bringing to the show? Because that team needs to be up at the front with an American driver and that is super good for all of us.”

See! Toto Wolff’s not a bad guy. He gets it.

Rolls-Royce Had Its Best Year Ever

Rolls Royce

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the concept of “monoculture.” This is the idea that, because of popular media, there’s a shared understanding of what is popular and good. It could be argued that monoculture peaked in the MTV/Top 40 radio era when you couldn’t not hear the same song all the time. In music, at least, the idea of monoculture has been challenged by streaming platforms.

Car people, I think, sometimes fall into the trap of thinking it’s a monoculture instead of multiple diverse cultures. I bring this up, because I respect and appreciate the engineering and design that goes into modern Rolls-Royce automobiles while also not particularly liking them. They are not for me. That doesn’t make them less valuable (they are quite valuable). That doesn’t make them bad. They’re just not for me.

Clearly, they are for a lot of people! If you were curious where all the microchips were going, Rolls-Royce sold 6,021 vehicles in 2022, up 8% from 2021. The brand also had the “highest value” Bespoke commissions in the company’s 118-year history. That last bit, from their press release, is key:

The almost endless possibilities for Bespoke personalisation resulted in clients being willing to pay an average of around half a million Euros for their unique Rolls-Royce. Thanks to the high value of Rolls-Royce’s unrivalled Bespoke offering and the company’s consistent focus on profitability, the marque will make a significant contribution to its principal shareholder.

Emphasis mine. The average custom Rolls-Royce is about $500k. That’s impressive, even if a Ghost, for instance, starts at $340,500.

Acura Is Dead In China

Chinese Acura

Welp, they tried. Honda attempted to sell Acuras to a luxury-hungry China through a joint venture with China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) and lasted just seven years.

Per Reuters:

Acura is the second foreign car brand to exit China, the world’s largest auto market, in recent months. In October GAC said it was closing its joint venture with Stellantis (STLA.MI), which made Jeep vehicles, following a sharp decline in Jeep sales in China over the past four years.

GAC-Honda, which started producing Acura cars in 2016 in China, only sold 6,554 of them in the country in 2021, down 45% from the previous year.

It’s interesting timing given that the Guangzhou Motor Show is starting this week. Let’s see how that’s going:

Fun times!

Would You Buy A Rotary Hybrid?

Ok, my little Rob Dahms, would you buy a range-extended Mazda rotary?

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Photos: Mazda, Mercedes F1, Acura, Rolls-Royce

 

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86 Responses

  1. Rotaries are cool, although for some reason, they’ve never been for me. Kind of like you with Rolls-Royces, Matt—I appreciate that they exist! They make the world of cars more interesting, no doubt! I just don’t personally want one. I think the friend who went through multiple RX-8 engine replacements probably did that in for me. Cool car. So many cool rotaries out there! Just not really for me. Well, unless it’s an NSU. Are we including super duper sicko stuff like Ro80s because the weirder, older and rarer a car is…welp.

    Rolls-Royces, however…if I had the scratch, I absolutely would. They’re the logical extension of Big Brougham Vibes to their most customized, ridiculous ends. I will gladly take your share of the Rollses, haha.

  2. This answers the most important question people keep asking about the CX30.

    WILL THERE BE TRIANGLES?

    The answer is YES, YES, a thousand times YES!!!!

  3. Who in the absolute FUCK wants a single speed rotary?!!! Like seriously?! This is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard of…

    Legendary engine…. Sidelined to just being a land locomotive engine…

    Dumb AF

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