On the eve of the 2016 New York auto show, Mazda revealed the 2017 MX-5 RF, the long-awaited hardtop variant of the . Unlike the previous-generation Miata Power Retractable Hardtop, the MX-5 RF features a fastback roofline that slopes down to the car's rear.
Unlike the model it replaces, the only parts that retract in the are the roof and the back window while the C-pillars stay in place, similar to a Targa top. The roof can be opened or closed at speeds up to 6 mph and stows compactly like the soft top. Trunk space on the MX-5 RF is the same as in the standard soft top at 4.5 cubic feet. The last hardtop offered in the 2015 model year cost an additional $1,700. However, the RF has other upgrades such as a Nappa leather unique to the model, so the premium could be more when pricing is released closer to the fall sale date.
In North America, the will come standard with the Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter I-4, which produces 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque in the soft-top variant. The Skyactiv-G 1.5-liter I-4 will be the standard engine in global markets such as Europe and Asia. Expect the MX-5 RF to come standard with a six-speed manual transmission while a six-speed automatic should be an option. Mazda has yet to reveal full specifications on the MX-5 RF, so it's not yet known how much weight the retractable hardtop adds to the car. The soft-top Miata weighs in at 2,332 pounds with the six-speed manual and 2,381 pounds with the optional automatic. The designer would not say how much weight was added but said the target was keeping the 50:50 ratio.
At the press conference, we learned that the "RF" designation stands for retractable fastback. The Japanese automaker decided that the car looked different enough from the standard MX-5 that it deserved a new name. An interdepartmental team with representatives from design to PR mulled over 100 names before choosing RF over a month ago. And while it will be known as the MX-5 Miata RF, there will be no badging with the RF letters.
Alisa Priddle contributed to this post.