Meet the hardtop Mazda MX-5 RF

What’s a Mazda MX-5 RF then?

The old hardtop Mazda MX-5 accounted for 80% of sales in the UK alone. So it was inevitable that Mazda would develop some sort of hardtop version of the current fourth generation MX-5. This is it.

What do I need to know?

‘RF’ stands for ‘Retractable Fastback’. Where the old car had a rather inelegant full folding hardtop, the MX-5 RF has a much more interesting 911 Targa-style arrangement.

At the touch of a button – and at speeds up to 6mph – the rear section lifts and the roof folds away beneath, leaving the cockpit en plein air. The rear window retracts too, giving about as convertible-like an experience as is possible in a not-quite-convertible.

We think it looks fantastic, possibly even better than the Roadster. We detect more than a hint of the ultra-rare, highly collectible coupe version of the second-gen MX-5 in the profile, which we suspect is entirely deliberate.

According to Mazda, bootspace in the MX-5 RF is unchanged. But they haven’t said how much weight the roof system adds to the Roadster’s flyweight 1,075kg. Performance doesn’t matter so much in an MX-5, but any dulling of it’s pin-sharp dynamics will.

The MX-5 RF will be available with 1.5- and 2.0-litre engines connected to six-speed manual gearboxes, all carried over from the Roadster. A six-speed automatic is added to the options list.

Anything else?

The car pictured is finished in Machine Grey – one of three new colours for the RF – which “gives the impression that the vehicle’s body was sculpted from a solid block of steel.” Indeed.

When can I buy one?

It will arrive sometime in 2017.

How much will it cost?

Unconfirmed at the moment, but expect a premium of a couple of thousand pounds over the equivalent Roadster.

For more information click here

By Only Motors

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