Mazda MX-5 RF Starts Production In Japan

Just yesterday Mazda announced pricing on its new MX-5 RF. And now the first examples have started rolling off the assembly line in Hiroshima, Japan.

Shorthand for Retractable Fastback, the RF is the latest version of Mazda’s celebrated roadster, packing a targa-style roof with fixed buttresses and a retractable roof panel to offer many of the advantages of open-air driving without the compromises.

The model is being built alongside the fully convertible Miata as well as the Fiat 124 Spider at Ujina Plant No. 1 near Mazda’s global headquarters in Hiroshima. The first examples will be shipped out to dealers in North America and Europe before they even go on sale in the Japanese domestic market later this year as the Roadster RF.

By now Mazda has made over a million Miatas. Most of them have been straight-up roadsters with folding fabric roofs. But the automaker has toyed with numerous other bodystyles, including a fixed-roof coupe and windowless speedster. After the previous third-generation NC model was offered with a folding hardtop, the new ND generation is being offered in this latest form, which Mazda evidently hopes will help expand its appeal further.

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