Mazda Miata evolved: MX-5 RF gets retractable hardtop
Mazda Miata evolved: MX-5 RF gets retractable hardtop (Photo: Nadine Filion/Autofocus.ca)
Brian Makse, Autofocus.ca
Published Tuesday, March 29, 2016 9:39AM EDT
Following the introduction of the all-new Mazda MX-5 roadster last year, Mazda introduced the first model variant at the 2016 New York International Auto Show late March.
Unlike the previous model’s power hardtop, the MX-5 RF – for “Retractable Fastback” – comes with a power hardtop that turns the impressively simple MX-5 into rather stylish sports car. With the roof up, the roofline resembles a fastback, arguably one of the most desirable sports car shapes in the history of the automobile.
With the roof down, however, this MX-5 looks more like a targa than any sort of roadster, making this the first distinctively styled MX-5 in the model’s four generations, and a shape that many MX-5 enthusiasts have been demanding.
The roof can be opened and closed while moving, but only up to a maximum speed of 10 km/h. Mazda claims that storage is the same as the roadster, but in reality it’s limited, though entirely appropriate for an exceptional, entry-level sports car.
The suspension and electric power steering are recalibrated for the RF, and additional sound deadening is used in the roof and around the rear wheel arches. Mazda says the cabin of the RF is exceptionally quiet.
Mazda made no comments about the difference in curb weight between the RF and the roadster, but expect the RF to carry at least an additional 50 kilos or more.
In Canadian spec, expect the RF to be powered by the existing MX-5’s 2.0-litre four cylinder and available with either a six-speed manual (our choice) or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but expect the RF to command a premium of a few thousand dollars over a similarly equipped MX-5 roadster.