20th February 2017
The expanded sports car choice offered by the new hardtop version of the Mazda MX-5 extends beyond the choice of roof material above your head and the complexity of its operation.
The 1.5-litre GSX and 2.0-litre Limited MX-5 roadster models with manual soft-top have been joined in the New Zealand market by four versions of the new MX5 RF (Retractable Fastback) which brings a small coupe stance to the fourth-generation MX-5 line-up.
Launching the RF version will broaden the appeal of the world's best-selling convertible twoseater sports car by offering a combination of open air driving and increased protection from the elements.
The design of the MX-5 RF features rear roof side sections that slope towards the rear and tuck into the sides to create a teardrop shape for the cabin and achieve a fastback silhouette.
The MX-5 RF enables drivers to quickly adapt to changing weather by a simple press of a switch located below the air condition dials. The roof opens/ closes in approximately 13 seconds - the fastest of any retractable hardtop on the market - with the process displayed on a LCD screen allowing the driver to check on the progress of the sequence without having to turn around.
Space has not been sacrificed in the development of the MX-5 RF. It still offers the same 127 litres of boot capacity as the soft top model while the overall length and wheelbase remain the same as the MX-5 soft top with the only change being the 5mm increase in roof height.
The increased weight of the hardtop components is approximately 47kg compared to soft-top models.
Refinement has been enhanced by using urethane noise absorption in the roof and the placement of noise absorption materials around the rear housing and trim, centre tunnel, instrument panel and floor.
Changes to the interior include equipping all RF models with a full-colour LCD screen, a larger wind blocker to suppress rear wind swirl.
Features of the Limited model are black leather seat trim with red stitching, auto air conditioning, heated front seats, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, satellite navigation and proximity key.
There is automatic high beam control, lane departure warning for Limited models which are identified by bright silver finish alloy wheels, and body colour mirrors. Standard i-Activsense safety technologies on both grades include Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Six exterior colours are available: Crystal White Pearl, Ceramic Metallic, Soul Red Metallic, Blue Reflex Mica, Jet Black Mica and Machine Grey Metallic.
All MX-5 RF models are powered by the 2.0-litre SkyactivG petrol engine with 118kW output at 6000rpm.
Pricing is $48,495 for the GSX six-speed auto version while the Limited grade is $51,495 with a sixspeed manual gearbox and $52,995 as an automatic. A special launch edition (15 units) RF-S Limited with automatic transmission featuring Nappa leather seat trim is $54,995.