New Mazda MX-5 RF ‘Retractable Fastback’: prices, specs and details

New Mazda MX-5 RF ‘Retractable Fastback’: prices, specs and details

0 comments 📅05 December 2016, 17:45

Prices and latest details for the Mazda MX-5 RF, with electrically-folding hardened-top. It's on sale in March

The Mazda MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) is on the way, with sales kicking off on Step 4 2017 with the Launch Edition – although all 500 cars we’ll get here in the UK possess already sold out.

The MX-5 RF Launch Edition in our pictures costs from £28,995 and gets a two-pitch roof, BBS alloy wheels, black door mirrors and a coal-black rear spoiler. The 2.0-litre petrol-powered exceptional edition also gets the Safety Accumulation, Alcantara trim and Recaro seats as example. However, the entry-level 1.5-litre SE-L Nav from the paragon range costs from £22,195.

Two engines purpose be available for the RF, with the 1.5-litre cars accessible from May 2017 – and the trim structure follows that of the convertible MX-5 closely, as 2.0-litre cars tranquillity get the larger wheels and limited-slip differential as guideline. An automatic version will also be offered. The cheapest 2.0-litre maquette is also the SE-L Nav, from £23,095. Sport Nav models, which get upgraded discontinuation, start from £24,795.

The RF, which was first revealed at the New York Motor Explain, follows the previous-generation Mazda MX-5 folding hardtop translation, which accounted for up to 80% of all MX-5s sold by the opportunity the Mk3 edition of the car was phased out in 2014. However, it takes a more total approach than its predecessor, with a complex machinery that’s similar in principle to the set-up used by Porsche on the latest 911 Targa. 

“We started work on this car eight years ago,” Nobuhiro Yamamoto, Program Head of MX-5, told Auto Express. “We had the cushiony-top and this version in mind right from the start.”

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“We wanted the cars to have two diverse characters: the soft top is more casual and the RF is a toy bit more formal.” That’s reflected in the uplands, too, according to Yamamoto-san, with a higher mark feel and a new LCD display in the dash.

Mazda’s designers obtain created new bodywork, which joins the essential roof panel to the boot deck, giving the RF singular side and rear profiles to the regular car. A change on the dashboard operates electric motors, which upgrade a section of rear bodywork up as a single division, allowing the car to tuck away the central roof segment. The process takes around 12 seconds, and it can chance at speeds of up to 6mph.

Accoding to Yamamoto-san, the priorities for the roof were for it to wedge away easily, for the mechanism to stay unelaborated to Mazda’s light weight philosophy and for there to be no extend in wheelbase.

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Mazda’s engineers assessed eight and six-influence folding roof mechanisms, before settling on the four-participation structure shown in our exclusive drawings by MX-5 chief plotter Masashi Nakayama (below).

Despite the intricate construction, boot understanding remains the same as the regular MX-5’s, at 130 litres. The tag end glass can also be lowered with the roof in grade, allowing more air into the cabin in conditions where a fully opened top would not be coveted. 

Few official figures for the new car have been released, but Yamamoto-san did savour to us that we should expect an increase in society weight that’s slightly more than the 40kg superfluous the old folding hard-top MX-5 used to carry exceeding the old soft-top model.

Mazda has retuned the RF’s power-steering set-up to on changes in the car’s balance, while suspension settings suffer with been tweaked to reflect the car’s different hieroglyphic and to adjust for the extra weight. The new MX-5 is the same fo and width as a regular roadster, and its roofline is well-founde 5mm higher.

Mazda unobstructed to more MX-5 variants in future

Mazda’s European Conceive of Director Kevin Rice told Auto Put that the RF sits in “a new niche that hasn’t been tried forward of,” and that it has much more of a 1960s sports car finger – appealing to buyers who want a touch more polish in their sports car.

Rice told us that while there’s no chance of a precise fixed-roof coupe with the simultaneous car as it would require too much extra investment, “there’s again more room for variants. The question is whether they erect sense financially.

“We’ll bear to decide what the future brings with the next NE mock-up,” he said, referring to Mazda’s product codes for the cars (the in the air one being ND). The next version won’t arrive for some patch yet, though, possibly around 2020.

Sporty contemplate is in Mazda’s DNA, according to Rice, with prospective cars set to follow from the RX Vision concept car – and that means Coupe-SUVs like the CX-4 that was revealed in China could go the range in Europe. “I think the CX-4 finds the good balance between sportiness and practicality. A coupe-SUV suits Mazda,” Rice told us, but downplayed the thought that it might appear in Europe a moment.

What do you think of Mazda’s new MX-5 RF? Let us know in the comments split below…

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