Mazda unveiled the stunning New Mazda MX-5 RF folding hardtop at the 2016 New York Motor Show. It went on to make its UK debut at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed and is scheduled to launch on 4th March 2017 with prices starting from £22,195.
The RF (Retractable Fastback) follows in the tyre tracks of the folding hardtop version of the third-generation MX-5, which accounted for up to four fifths of Mk3 models sold by the time they ceased production in January 2015. The latest addition to the MX-5 family has retained the sense of fun, freedom, and accessibility for open-top driving for which the world's best ever selling roadster has become renowned for over 26 years.
The MX-5 RF fastback's design sees a smooth roofline that slopes down to the back formed by its distinctive rear roof and retractable back window. That window can also be lowered while the hardtop is still in place to let more air flow through the cabin. The electrically-powered roof can be opened or closed in about 12 seconds while driving at speeds of up to around 6mph (10 km/h) with just the simple press of a button. Despite its fastback shape, the hardtop roof fits into a compact space to allow the same volume of 130 litres in the boot as the current soft-top model. The RF is the same length and width as the regular MX-5, with a roofline merely 5mm higher.
Mazda has said that the centre panel in the roof will be available in a piano-black finish for some markets around the world, as well as matching the overall body colour, however there are no details at the time of writing to confirm this option for the UK. Body colours will include "Machine Gray", a new premium colour made especially to emphasise the beautiful surfaces of Mazda’s "KODO – Soul of Motion" designs. "Machine Gray" is Mazda's second premium colour following "Soul Red", both created by using the Japanese manufacturer's TAKUMINURI technology . This technique produces a precise, high-quality finish that looks hand-painted thanks to a three-coat paint structure consisting of a colour layer, a clear layer, and a reflective layer that contains extremely thin, high-brightness aluminium flakes.
The RF will be available in Europe with a choice of two petrol engines – a SKYACTIV-G 1.5 or a SKYACTIV-G 2.0 – in conjunction with either a a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT gearbox or – exclusively for the RF – a six-speed automatic.