Mazda MX-5 RF preview - new video shows how roof works

Japanese Mazda video shows new roof mechanism in detail

Mazda has confirmed that the new MX-5 RF will cost from £22,195 for the entry-level 1.5-litre SE-L. Prices will rise to £23,095 for the 2-litre 158bhp version.

A Mazda MX-5 RF launch edition will also be available. It will be a limited run, 500 car special with BBS wheels, alcantara trim and recaro seats. This will cost £28,995.

The MX-5 RF boasts a 911 Targa-style roof that sees the MX-5 retain its rear pillars and window, it gives the fourth-generation car a completely different ethos to its predecessor.

If you'd like to see how the RF's new roof works, then the Mazda channel has a video showing the mechanism operating in full.

The entire middle section of the RF's roof can be stowed in the MX-5's boot, with a fully automatated electric system carrying out the process in full - a first for the MX-5.

Luggage space matches the standard MX-5 at 130 litres, while the entire system itself can be operated at a maximum speed of 6mph. The folding and stowing process takes around 12 seconds. It's also possible to lower just the rear glass of RF but keep the roof in place.

The announcement of the RF also brings with it the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox (exclusive to the RF), as well as the standard six-speed manual found in the soft-top car. Engine choice remains unchanged, with both 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol motors available.

> Read our Mazda MX-5 review

Expect the roof mechanism found in the RF to bring a weight penalty to the MX-5, although official figures are still to be confirmed. Speaking to MX-5 programme chief Nobuhiro Yamamoto at the New York show, he revealed that the difference between soft and hard tops would be slightly greater than it was with the third-generation car (around 40kg).

The RF receives a number of setup tweaks designed to make the car into a softer and more comfortable cruiser. Cabin noise has been reduced via added sound deadening in the rear wheel wells and headliner, while the power steering and suspension has been retuned specifically for the RF.

Yamamoto also hints that the RF will be slightly stiffer than its full convertible counterpart. While no additional bracing has been used on the car, the flying buttress roof arrangement should be inherently stiffer than the open top of the standard car.

Also unique to the RF is a 'machine grey' paint scheme that uses three seperate coats to achieve a deep, metallic effect under specific lighting conditions. The central roof panel is also available in both piano black finish or body colour.

Recommended

Mazda MX-5 review
Mazda MX-5 convertible

Mazda MX-5 review

The Mazda MX-5 is better than ever, a distillation of the sports car that has matured into a brilliant little roadster
19 Nov 2020
Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too

Mazda’s lesser-powered MX-5 is a lesson in feel and rear-wheel drive dynamics but lacks the hardware to be as entertaining as its more powerful siblin…
30 Sep 2020
BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review
Mazda MX-5

BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review

Quicker than the standard car, but BBR’s latest MX-5 focuses on experience more than performance, and is all the better for it
18 Jul 2020
Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs

Mazda’s third MX-5 didn’t quite hit the mark when new, but is now an affordable way into a fun rear-wheel-drive platform
23 Jun 2020

Most Popular

2021 Mercedes C-class revealed – all-new 3-series rival to channel S-class luxury
2021 Mercedes C-class revealed - front tracking
Mercedes C-Class

2021 Mercedes C-class revealed – all-new 3-series rival to channel S-class luxury

New C-class to launch as four-cylinder only; AMGs expected to be the same
23 Feb 2021
Will synthetic fuel save the performance car? The manufacturers weigh in
R8 Filler cap
Porsche

Will synthetic fuel save the performance car? The manufacturers weigh in

Porsche claims a car running on eFuel will have the same CO2 footprint as an EV, and BMW, Audi, Aston Martin and McLaren all agree
24 Feb 2021
Lexus IS500 F Sport revealed – naturally aspirated V8 sports saloon is back
Lexus IS500 F Sport -
Lexus

Lexus IS500 F Sport revealed – naturally aspirated V8 sports saloon is back

It’s a recipe that AMG, BMW and Audi say no longer appeals, but Lexus has gone its own way, with an almighty catch
22 Feb 2021