You’re already drooling over the sleek curves and coupe-like lines of the new 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF (short for “retractable fastback”), but here are five things we learned at the unveiling that you really should know about the new hardtop Miata — even though some have no answers just yet.
1. Weight. First things first: how much does that fancy new top weigh? While pinning Mazda down on a firm answer was impossible, and the data isn’t included in the official press materials, we spoke with Jeremy Barnes, director of public relations for Mazda USA, and found out the answer lies in the 175-200 pound range. That’s a hefty penalty to pay on a weight-conscious sports roadster for a smidgen of convenience, especially considering the soft-top’s curb weight is listed at 2,332-2,381 lb. But for many, the RF will be a must-have addition, and not just for the enhanced looks the new top brings. Purists, however, are likely to argue that anyone willing to give up lightness for comfort deserves neither.
2. Cost. Cost is another unknown at this point, but it’s something to keep an eye on. The third-generation-based Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) MX-5 is still being sold alongside the fourth-generation soft-top, at a premium of $1,760 over an equivalent-spec third-gen roadster, so expect the cost of the new RF to come in around the $1,800 more than an equivalent ND — though with the trick new mechanism of the fourth-gen RF hardtop, it’s may be even a bit more dear. We won’t know for sure until closer to the car’s launch, due to the vagaries of currency exchange rates and competitive factors.
2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF on stage interior
3. Delivery dates. The first examples of the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF aren’t likely to reach America until early 2017. Production will begin later this year, with deliveries likely to reach Asia and Europe before the end of 2016, but due to ship transit times across the Pacific, don’t expect to have a new RF as your Christmas present this year.
4. Roof color. The top panel of the RF’s roof is available in any color you want, so long as that color is body color or piano black, though again this may change by the time the car lands on our shores in early 2017, and may vary between trims, too.
2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF on stage rear view from above
5. Size matters. Aside from weight, the only spec that changes with the new RF hardtop is the height — the MX-5 RF is 5 mm (0.2 inch) taller than its soft-top alternative. Trunk space is identical, as are length and width.
If the sporting wiles of the AUTOMOBILE All Star-winning soft-top 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata didn’t sway you to the dark side, perhaps this part-time coupe will do the trick. If not, you might want to check your pulse–to see if you have one.