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Auto only Mazda MX-5 RF debuts


Highly acclaimed in various international markets since debuting last year, Mazda has now finally launched the Retractable Fastback (RF) version of its MX-5 on local shores, sans the option of a manual gearbox.

As its name suggests, the RF does away with the Roadster's manual folding soft-top in favour of an electrically retractable hardtop, able to close and open in 13 seconds at speeds up to 10 km/h. Despite this, Mazda still claims boot space is unchanged at 127-litres.

More controversially though is the sole availability of the aforementioned six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters mated to the Roadster's 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine, which continues to produce 118 kW and 200 N.m of torque. A limited slip diff is also included. No performance figures were revealed although expect the RF to be significantly slower than the manual soft-top.

In-car and safety tech is substantial however with items such as a premium nine-speaker Bose sound system with a 230 watt amplifier, seven-inch MZD Connect touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, DAB, satellite navigation, USB and Aux inputs, climate control, cruise control, Hill Launch Assist, 17-inch alloy wheels, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Front Lighting and Blind Spot Monitoring.

A three year / unlimited km warranty and service plan are part of the RF's R532 800 asking price.

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