Mazda MX-5 RF Prices and Specs Announced
If you hanker after the MX-5’s sports car poise and an open topped driving experience, yet don’t want the compromise of a rag top then there is good news. Production of the Mazda MX-5 RF (the ‘RF’ standing for Retractable Fastback) has begun, orders are being taken and the first deliveries to the UK will happen on March 4th 2017. It will cost you at least £22,195 for the privilege of owning one, however.
In the tradition of the MX-5, which has more special editions than some people have had hot dinners, there will be a limited run of 500 Launch Edition cars. Unfortunately the Launch Edition doesn’t get any more power, having to settle with the 158hp 2-litre unit. It does, however, get a unique twin-tone roof, BBS wheels, black door mirrors and black rear spoiler, Alcantara trim and Recaro seats. The limited edition car will set you back £28,995 though, which is quite a lot for an MX-5 no matter how you look at it. In fact, across the range the RF carries a £2k premium over the roadster.
While Mazda reckons the standard MX-5’s sporty credentials remain in place the fact that it is offering it in Sport Nav Auto trim – the first ND MX-5 offered in the UK with an auto ‘box – shows that it’s got half an eye on an audience for whom driving dynamics aren’t top of the list. Adding credence to this is the fact that Mazda boasts of increased sound absorption making the cabin quieter and more reined, and has also built more comfort into the chassis. In addition, the bog standard SE spec found on the roadster isn’t an option on the RF, meaning the entry level car still gets sat-nav and a load of other goodies.
Quite what impact the folding hard top, sound deadening and higher-spec cabins will have on the weight of the car is anyone’s guess at the moment. At the New York Motor show Mazda suggested that the MX-5 RF would put on only a modest amount of weight – sub 40kg – but the manufacturer is yet to release official figures. Read into that what you will.
More importantly will be understanding how the changes and additional weight (we assume) have affected the way the MX-5 drives. The roadster is great fun with either the 1.5 or 2-litre engine thanks to its low mass, deft handling and ‘just so’ controls. We just hope that the RF hasn’t lost any of this!