Mazda MX-5 RF revealed ahead of New York auto show
Mazda has revealed a hardtop convertible version of its MX-5 roadster. Badged MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) for its roof design, the fourth-gen car borrows its folding roof design from the 911 Targa with hinged rear pillars, and a powered middle section and rear window.
Along with a shift in design from its predecessor, the MX-5 RF’s roof is fully automatic for the first time, with the control system enabling the roof to open and close at speeds of up to 10kph. When open, the roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats.
A unique addition to the RF is the introduction of a six-speed automatic gearbox, specific only to this model. The engines though are the same as on the soft-top roadster.
Performance figures are unknown for the MX-5 RF, but given that the car will be heavier than the 1,050kg soft-top, a slight dip in performance is expected.
Mazda has also tuned the suspension and power steering specifically for the MX-5 RF, to achieve a comfortable and refined ride. Mazda has made a concerted effort to reduce cabin noise in the RF, with extra sound deadening in the rear wheel wells and headliner of the front and middle roof panels.
The MX-5 RF is expected to go on sale internationally sometime around the end of the year as a more premium offering to its soft-top sibling.