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Mazda activates MX-5 RF production

Job one: Mazda’s first showroom-bound MX-5 RF rolls off the Ujina Plant production line near Hiroshima.

Australia to get 2.0-litre Mazda MX-5 RF hardtop in Q1, 2017 with manual and auto

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Mazda logo5 Oct 2016

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

MAZDA has hit the button on production of its MX-5 RF (retractable fastback) sportscar, with the first Australian deliveries due to arrive in the first quarter of next year.

Unlike the soft-top MX-5, which is available with either a 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, Australia-bound RFs will be exclusively fitted with the larger-capacity unit, with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

The previous-generation NC MX-5 was offered with traditional canvas and folding hard-top configurations – the latter dubbed Roadster Coupe – with a price premium for the latter of around 11 per cent at its 2006 launch.

Based on this precedent, the MX-5 RF could arrive in local showrooms with a starting sticker in the region of $38,500 plus on-road costs (the 2.0-litre manual roadster lists from $34,490 plus ORCs).

Mazda Australia senior manager of public relations Karla Leach told GoAuto it was too early to talk pricing, but confirmed the all-weather RF would command a higher price than the soft-top.

The RF’s power roof can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 10 km/h and does not impinge on the soft-top’s 110-litre luggage capacity.

Mazda’s first production RF off the Ujina Plant No. 1 line near Hiroshima was finished in the same machine grey paintwork as the car that debuted at the New York motor show in March this year.

Initial deliveries will head to North America and Europe and arrive in time for their early-2017 launches, followed by an end-of-year launch in the Japanese market and an Australian debut as we kiss goodbye to summer.

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