Mazda MX-5 RF Production Begins In Japan

Production of the second Mazda MX-5 variant has begun in Japan, with the retractable hardtop MX-5 RF version rolling down the line at Mazda’s Unja Plant No. 1, near Hiroshima.

The Japanese domestic market will be the first to get the new hardtop MX-5 later this year, with Europe and North America next in line, deliveries slated to start early in 2017. Australia won’t be far behind, with a launch pencilled-in for the first quarter of 2017.

The MX-5 RF sits on a the same wheelbase and shares its external dimensions (apart from a small variation in height) with the regular soft-top MX-5.

Mechanically the MX-5 RF will be identical to the 2.0 litre MX-5 sold here, with no 1.5 litre variant planned for the Australian market.

The differences between the RF and the regular MX-5 focus mainly on the RF’s folding roof mechanism, which sees the rear pillar section lift up, to allow stowage for the targa-style roof panel, before placing the rear place back in position.

The rear window is also retractable, allowing for an open-air feeling, even with the rear pillars in place.

The entire operation is powered and can be operated at speeds up to 10 km/h. Even with the added roof mechanism, boot space is the came as the roadster version.

Pricing and specifications of the MX-5 RF in Australia have not yet been announced, but more details are expected to be rolled out in the lead up to its launch next year.

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