Mazda MX-5 RF 2017: Red-hot model under consideration for Oz (Video)
Mazda MX-5 RF 2017: Red-hot model under consideration for Oz (Video)

Mazda MX-5 RF 2017: Red-hot model under consideration for Oz “Video”

Added weight, added price and added luxury – the new Mazda MX-5 RF brings a new take on the classic roadster’s stripped-back ethos.

The 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF (Mazda-speak for “retractable fastback”) looks to make an already great sports car better. This new model features a retractable hardtop and powered rear window to let in the sun and breezes.

And while the three-piece top magically disappears, Mazda says that its fastback bodystyle doesn’t negatively impact trunk space compared to the soft-top model. Another part of the car that seemed to disappear is the “Miata” name…

Mazda claims that the roof can be opened or closed up to speeds of 6 mph—handy if you get caught in a sudden rain storm. And with the added hardware and mechanisms, it’s likely that this new model will weigh slightly more than the standard Miata.

This is not the only time Mazda has offered a hardtop (removable or retractable) version of its long-loved sportster. But it is the first time such a sweeping fastback silhouette has been crafted on a Miata. And it looks fabulous in person.

Certainly, one of the goals of this hardtop is to produce a quieter driving experience. It’s a safe guess that top-up driving might quell some of the constant din experienced with our tested soft-top model, no doubt helped with the new model’s sound-absorbing headliner and other extra insulation.

While we’ve yet to drive this version, we imagine that it will produce the same zesty fun as the regular, cloth-top Miata. The 155-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission is one of the most satisfying powertrains in the business. Handling is enjoyable, engaging, and predictable—just as a sports car should be. Its 34 mpg overall fuel economy is just icing on the cake.

Mazda must be doing something right: The company says that the Miata will soon reach the “1 million mark in global production volume.” That’s many miles of smiles.

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF pricing (before on-road costs)

MX-5 RF manual – $38,500
MX-5 RF automatic – $40,550
MX-5 RF GT manual – $43,890
MX-5 RF GT automatic – $45,890
MX-5 RF GT with Black Roof manual – $44,890
MX-5 RF GT with Black Roof automatic – $46,890


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