Hardtop Mazda MX-5 RF to cost from £22k

The Mazda MX-5 RF – Retractable Fastback – will go on sale March 2017, complete with novel folding roof

The new semi-convertible hardtop Mazda MX-5 RF will cost between £22,195 and £28,995 when it goes on sale on 4 March 2017.

It features a central roof panel that slides under the rear bodywork at the touch of a button. The previous hardtop MX-5, the MX-5 Roadster Coupe, stored the entire roof in the car’s boot. The RF keeps the rear windscreen up when the roof is down.

It is not yet known if the Fiat 124 Spider - the MX-5's sister car - will gain the new roof arrangement.

Mazda MX-5 RF roof

The new Retractable Fastback is unlike any previous MX-5, as it’s not a full open-top convertible. The concept is similar to that of the Porsche 911 Targa, with the rear windscreen and bodywork lifting up to allow the roof panel to be stored, then lowering into place again.

A button on the dashboard activates the electrically powered transformation, which can be made at speeds up to 6mph and takes 12 seconds to complete. Mazda says the MX-5’s boot capacity hasn’t been reduced in the RF, which is a good job since was only 130 litres in the first place.

The roof and rear wheel housings are fitted with sound insulation material and Mazda claims the interior is “significantly quieter” as a result.

Contrasting colours will be available for the roof panel, but you’ll also be able to have it in the same colour as the rest of the car. There’s no official word yet on how much heavier this version is compared to the regular, soft-top MX-5, but Mazda says the car’s power steering has been modified to take account of the extra weight.

Engines

The Mazda MX-5 RF will feature the same 129bhp 1.5-litre and 159bhp 2.0-litre petrol engines as the soft-top and performance is likely to be close to the standard car, although no weight figures have been revealed. That means the engines are likely to achieve 0-62mph times of around 8.5 seconds and 7.5 seconds respectively.

The car will be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but for the first time in this generation of MX-5 an automatic gearbox will also be available, in Sport Nav Auto version.

Equipment specifications

Two trims will be available: SE-L Nav and Sport Nav. SE-L Nav models get LED headlights, climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen and sat-nav as standard. Sport Nav cars also come with heated leather seats, lane-departure warning, parking sensors and a Premium Bose audio system, as well as sportier, Bilstein suspension.

Cars with the 2.0-litre engine have a grip-enhancing limited-slip differential and 17-inch wheels.

Mazda MX-5 Launch Edition

Just 500 Mazda MX-5 RF cars will initially be available, all in Launch Edition trim with the 2.0-litre engine. The limited-edition cars will feature a two-tone roof, BBS wheels, black door mirrors and a rear spoiler, while the interior is trimmed with Alcantara suede fabric and fitted with Recaro seats. Also added is a Safety Pack including a feature that alerts you to traffic about to cross your path as you reverse. Buyers can choose between Soul Red or Machine Grey metallic paint.

Prices and release date

Mazda MX-5 RF models fitted with the 2.0-litre engine will go on sale on 4 March 2017, with 1.5-litre version arriving in May. All are available to pre-order now.

Mazda MX-5 RF 1.5 131ps SE-L Nav£22,195
Mazda MX-5 RF 1.5 131ps Sport Nav£24,795
Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 160ps SE-L Nav£23,095
Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 160ps Sport Nav£25,695
Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 160ps Sport Nav Auto£27,095
Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 160ps Launch Edition£28,995

Mazda MX-5 RF specification list

SE-L Nav 1.5

LED headlights

16in alloy wheels

Body-colour door mirrors

Black cloth seat trim

Climate control air-conditioning

7in colour touch-screen display

Integrated navigation system

Multimedia Commander

Cruise control

DAB radio

Integrated Bluetooth

Additional on 2.0-litre engine

17in Gunmetal alloy wheels

Piano-black door mirrors

Limited-slip differential

Sport Nav 1.5

(SE-L Nav 1.5, plus)

16in Gunmetal alloy wheels

Piano-black door mirrors

Heated black leather seats

Rain-sensing wipers

Dusk-sensing lights

Auto-dimming rear-view mirror

Adaptive front lighting system

Lane departure warning system

Rear parking sensors

Keyless entry

Premium Bose sound system

Additional on 2.0-litre engine

17in Bright alloy wheels

Body-colour door mirrors

Bilstein Sport suspension

Strut brace

Additional on Launch Edition

Two-tone roof

BBS wheels

Piano-black door mirrors

Piano-black rear spoiler

Soul Red or Machine Grey metallic paint

Recaro seats

Alcantara Pack

Limited Edition numbering

Safety Pack

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