The idea behind the RF version – according to Mazda - is to make open-top driving more accessible. Our only concern at this point is that the additional weight does not hamper the dynamics of what is a very balanced and enjoyable vehicle to drive.
The new MX-5 is a handsome machine and we think that the RF adds another dimension to the car, giving it a fastback/targa look. The smooth roofline slopes down to the rear end, giving coupé fans the look that they desire with the ability to remove the top should the mood strike. The power roof can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 10km/h with the press of a button. The new roof design also allows for the vehicle to retain the same size boot.
Why is the MX-5 so well-loved?
The MX-5 is the quintessential small sports car; the reason for its popularity was - and is due to the fact - that it combines the style and driving fun of classic British sports roadsters with the rock-solid reliability associated with Japanese vehicles. The recipe has remained largely unchanged for the MX-5 and is very probably why the new model has been so well received.
South African introduction?
Mazda South Africa has confirmed that the RF is in the pipeline for local introduction however no timeframe or confirmation of this has been made at this point. We do hope that it comes to SA as the standard model is a riot to drive and with the RF’s roof design we could see a more practical sports car grace our shores.
Expect the new model to have the same 118kW/200Nm 2.0-litre naturally aspirated motor seen in the roadster variant introduced locally, earlier this year. There will be a 1.5-litre version but this is likely to be for other markets. We enjoy the 2.0-litre motor in the MX-5 coupled with the slick ‘heel and toe’ happy six-speed gearbox.