Mazda have revealed the Mazda MX-5 RF (“retractable fastback”) today on the eve of the New York International Auto Show. The latest version of the legendary sports car offers a new dimension of open-top driving fun while at the same time staying true to the purpose of the company’s previous retractable hardtop MX-5. The idea is that this makes the roadster experience accessible to a broader range of drivers.
In doing so, Mazda has broken with conventional thinking to create something entirely new. The car features fastback styling with a smooth roof-line that slopes down to the rear. Apparently, the power roof opens and closes at the press of a button while moving at speeds of up to six miles per hour.The roof itself stows away compactly and efficiently, they say. Despite the sleek design, the Mazda MX-5 RF offers the same boot space as the soft-top model. Also like the soft-top, this new MX-5 will be available in to us with the same choice of engines – the SKYACTIV-G 1.5L and SKYACTIV-G 2.0L – mated either to the brilliantly crisp shifting six-speed SKYACTIV-MT gearbox or, and this is exclusive to the MX-5 RF it seems – a six-speed automatic; although why you’d want an auto on this spirited little car is a mystery.The new car comes in colours too: they include Machine Grey, a new premium colour specially designed to accentuate the subtle yet dynamic surfaces of Mazda’s KODO design philosophy. Paint application is crucial here. Mazda progressed its Takuminuri painting technology originally created for Soul Red, Mazda’s first premium colour, to achieve a precise, high-quality finish that looks as if it were hand-painted by a master craftsman. In time, Machine Grey will be available on a range of Mazda models.Interestingly, the system uses a three-coat paint structure consisting of colour, reflective and clear coats. The reflective layer, which contains extremely thin, high-brightness aluminium flakes, shrinks during the drying process to about one-quarter the thickness of most reflective layers. This causes the flakes to lie flat with regular spacing between each flake for a high-density finish that gives the entire surface a sheen when illuminated and a genuine metallic look. Jet black pigment, meanwhile, is used in both the reflective and colour layers. It is visible through the spaces between the aluminium flakes, giving them a black hue and thus heightening the contrast. Quite keen to see this in the flesh. DriveWrite tested the soft-top version here.
See the MX-5 RF at the New York International Auto Show if you’re lucky enough to be going. It’s which opens to the public from 25 March to 3 April. Geoff Maxted