If you’ve always wanted a Mazda MX-5 but can’t live with a rag top (especially in this region), then check out the new Mazda MX-5 RF. The RF stands for Retractable Fastback and it just made its debut at the ongoing New York International Motor Show.
The MX-5 RF comes in handy, seeing that the bulk of all MX-5s sold came from the hardtop variant. This time, Mazda engineered a new mechanism that connects the roof panel to the boot deck. Once the switch is activated, the magic happens – all in just 12 seconds. This however, can only work at speeds no more than 8 km/h.
Traditionally, all retractable convertibles will sacrifice boot space to accommodate all the moving components, but not with this MX-5. Boot space remains identical to the soft top variant – at 130 litres!
But there’s another problem. Surely, having such mechanics in place will add weight to the rear end, but Mazda has retuned the suspension and power steering to compensate the weight penalty, ensuring that the MX-5 brilliant balance is retained. The 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre Skyactiv engines remain unchanged.
New to this MX-5 RF is an all-new ‘premium’ Machine Grey paint colour, where three coats (one colour, one reflective and one clear) are used to create “a sheen when illuminated and a genuine metallic look”. In other words, this new paint brings the element of rawness compared to Mazda’s iconic Soul Red.
The new Mazda MX-5 RF will be available in the United States during summer, and worldwide deliveries are expected to begin by 2017. Back at home, the soft top 2.0-litre MX-5, six-speed automatic variant is being sold by Bermaz Motor at RM226,376.32, though it’s still unclear if the six-speed manual will make it here later this year.
We do think that the hardtop variant makes a lot of sense for a tropical country like Malaysia, but if it does find its way to Malaysia, it should cost a little bit more than the soft top convertible.