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Mazda MX-5 RF arriving in February

Open for business: Mazda is now taking orders for the best-of-both-worlds MX-5 RF with the first examples expected to arrive early next year.

RF Folding hard-top adds up to $4340 on top of Mazda MX-5 drop-top price

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Mazda logo14 Nov 2016

MAZDA’S MX-5 range-topping RF will touch down in Australia from February 1 next year bringing with it an electrically-folding hard-top and a premium of up to $4340 over the equivalent rag-top, with prices starting at $38,550 before on-road costs.

While other global markets will get a second 1.5-litre version, only the 2.0-litre variant is on offer in Australia but the Retractable Fastback (RF) is up for grabs in base RF form or kit-boosted GT from $43,890.

The RF’s defining feature stows at the push of a button at speeds up to 10km/h and adds an extra $4060 on top of the most affordable 2.0-litre MX-5 convertible, or another $4340 to the price of the 2.0-litre GT.

Customers with a little more cash to splash can upgrade their GT with an optional black roof which also adds finer quality Nappa leather-covered seats for an extra $1000, while the company’s signature Soul Red and new Machine Grey paints attract another $250.

The latter is a unique optional hue for the RF and replaces the soft-top’s Meteor Grey, while all other exterior colours – Blue Reflex, Crystal White, Jet Black, and Ceramic Metallic – are included in the price.

Like the soft-top version, the RF is supplied as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox but can be optioned with a six-speed automatic transmission for an additional $2000.

All versions of the RF get Mazda’s 2.0-litre SkyActiv naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with 118kW and 200Nm on tap. The heavier roof mechanism is expected to impact performance with approximately 40kg of extra weight but the car-maker is yet to confirm final figures.

When open, the folding hard-top hides in a compartment behind the seats but the arrangement does not impact boot space, with the 110 litre luggage area of the convertible unchanged.

Standard fare in all RF versions is a 7.0-inch colour display for access to Mazda’s MZD Connect applications, which includes navigation, internet radio and a top-spec Bose nine-speaker sound system in premium GT variants.

GT customers can choose from black or tan leather seats with some Maztex synthetic hide sections with cloth upholstery for the sub-GT RF.

Like the soft-top, both 2.0-litre RF variants roll on 17-inch alloy wheels, while LED exterior lighting including headlights is also standard.

Mazda has not revealed sales ambitions for the new RF but it is unlikely to be as warmly welcomed as the more affordable and less esoteric soft-top, which has found 1387 homes this year.

With a solid roof, the MX-5 RF is a closer rival to the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins which are available in fixed-roof coupe form only, but from a more accessible $29,990 for the Toyota or $37,150 driveaway for the Subaru.

2017 Mazda MX-5 pricing*
1.5L $31,990
1.5L (a) $33,990
2.0L $34,490
2.0L (a) $36,490
1.5L GT $37,990
1.5L GT (a) $39,990
2.0L RF $38,550
2.0L RF (a) $40,550
2.0L GT $39,550
2.0L GT (a) $41,550
2.0L RF GT $43,890
2.0L RF GT (a) $45,890
2.0L RF GT w/ black roof $44,890
2.0L RF GT w/ black roof (a) $46,890
*Excludes on-road costs

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