New York ’16. Targa-top Mazda MX-5 RF

Mazda unveils the new targa-top MX-5 RF at the New York Motor Show

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Who saw a targa-style Mazda MX-5 coming? Nope, us neither, but it’s proven a big hit at this year’s New York Motor Show.

A follow-on from the fourth generation roadster unveiled in late 2014, the new MX-5 RF – or ‘Retractable Fastback’ – retains its hardtop counterpart’s rear pillars and window, and boasts a more aggressively sweeping roofline down to the rear wheels, a ‘Fastback’ design tradition.

The mechanical setup in the new RF though is a tad more complex, more typical of the 911 Targa, and the first fully automated stowing system incorporated by Mazda: flick the switch and the roof should be fully opened in just 12 seconds at up to 10kph. In development for eight years, the new RF slots in beside the soft-top model, though according to the company, each exemplifies its own ‘distinct character’.

Alongside the new retractable hard-top, the RF also includes a new stretch of bodywork that joins the roof panel to the boot deck, affording the new model a subtly different profile to soft top model. Beneath the new look also lies revised suspension, a new (optional) six-speed automatic gearbox, upgraded sound deadening in the rear wheel arches, and revised power steering specific to the RF’s setup. Official figures have yet to be released – and as such we’re not sure if the MX-5’s 1.5-litre and 2-litre four-cylinder units have also been given a boost – but we’re asked to expect a 40kg increase in kerb weight.

Like the tech specs, a starting price has yet to be revealed either, though it has been speculated the new MX-5 RF will cost $3500 more than the $35K soft top roadster when it goes on sale next year.

Categories: Road


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