Mazda has used the 2016 New York Motor to reveal a new targa top style MX-5 with an electronically folding roof panel.
The new car, known as the MX-5 RF (RF for Retractable Fastback) is Mazda’s answer to the popular folding hardtop version of the MK3 MX-5 which ended production in 2014. The new car’s roof is considerably different to the folding hard top in the MK3 with a folding targa top style roof panel that’s actually quite similar to the mechanism used in the Porsche 911 Targa.
The Mazda MX-5 RF is capable of folding the roof away in 12 seconds, with a large piece of the rear bodywork lifting up in one piece to allow the new roof panel to tuck away neatly and compactly. The new look bodywork give the car a very different side and rear profile to the regular soft top version of the car.
With such a clever design, Mazda has been able to keep the boot capacity the same as the soft top version, with 130 litres of space. The rear glass window is also able to be lowered with the roof up or down, enabling the driver to allow more air into the cabin even if they don’t wish to have the roof fully down.
The company has said that the new roof panel will be offered in either body colour of contrasting piano black. It’s currently unknown as to what the weight penalty will be over the soft top version of the car, though it’s likely to add at least a little weight. The power steering has also been tweaked by Mazda to ensure it works well with the new set up.
The new Mazda MX-5 RF is set to go on sale in the UK in 2017, with prices yet to be announced. It’s expected to carry around a £2500 premium over the soft top MX-5 and will be available with both the 1.5 and 2.0 engines.