After a couple weeks of speculating what Mazda meant by ‘blowing the lid off’ the MX-5, it appears many were right in guessing that there is a hardtop version of the beloved roadster in the works.
The MX-5 RF is Mazda’s latest addition to the roadster family. RF stands for ‘Retractable Fastback’, and from the looks of it they’ve indeed put a more interesting twist to the conventional retractable hardtop seen on most convertibles. By giving the rear section of the roof a swooping fastback profile, the MX-5 can now either be enjoyed with a full roof or, with the roof panel stored, as a targa.
Sticking true to the roadster’s open air roots, the RF’s rear window can be retracted to let more air into the cabin with the roof stowed away. Speaking of storing the roof, the top panel can be kept easily at the push of a button. The process of keeping the panel can be performed while moving at speeds less than 10 km/h.
Concerns over the retractable hardtop mechanism taking up too much trunk space have certainly been raised, but Mazda reassures that the whole mechanism does not take anything away from the ND’s current trunk space as the folding roof takes only as much space as the soft top’s mechanism.
Of course, having a metal chunk over your head instead of a soft top will certainly increase weight. As to how much weight has been added however, Mazda has yet to provide any details.
The MX-5 RF will still sell globally with both the 1.5L or the 2.0L Skyactiv-G powerplants. The US however will only receive the latter variant, and given how we only have that available locally perhaps our market may only receive the 2.0L as well. The RF will come with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Mazda’s new Retractable Fastback roadster will be on display at the New York International Auto Show from March 25th to April 3rd, 2016.