More than one million Mazda MX-5’s have been sold globally since the car first saw light of day 28 years ago. Arguably the most popular two-seat sports car in the world, the MX-5 is back on the throne.
There are a few very simple reasons why the Mazda MX-5 grew to be such a popular sports car since its debut nearly three decades ago. Those reasons include simplicity, reliability and affordability. All you need to do is jump into the MX-5, throw back the soft-top and go. That’s it. This is not at all true of other expensive, high-end sports cars with more power than can ever be properly used and more aerodynamic aids than a Le Mans race car. The company has decided to re-address the functionality of the legendary sports car and has come up with the equally impressive Mazda MX-5 RF, so keep reading to know more.
Great Power As Always
The Mazda MX-5 RF still includes the same tried-and-tested powertrain that boasts a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre inline 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve engine that generates 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm as well as 148 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. This engine can either be mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. With just 55 kilograms more than the standard MX-5, the driving dynamics of the RF are nearly identical to that of the soft top. Thanks to a combination of strong-as-ever engine and ingenious engineering, the RF provides spectacular acceleration and brilliant handling. You’re able to really rely on the RF to carry you through the corners with tons of confidence thanks to its double-wishbone front suspension and a rear multi-link setup.
The “RF” Actually Stands For A Lot
As much as we’d like to tell you that RF stands for Really Fast, that is regrettably not the case. The RF actually stands for Retractable Fastback and incorporates an entirely new take on the legendary sports car. Unlike most other sports cars that are an either/or situation – meaning you can have a convertible or a hardtop coupe – the RF was designed to incorporate the best of both worlds. In other words, the RF comes with a retractable roof, which consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass. When the roof is open, the middle and front sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats. There is no air from the rear blowing back into the cabin thanks to a large acrylic wind blocker. The entire electric-powered operation takes just 13 seconds to open or close the roof at speeds of 10 kilometres per hour or less.
Engineering At Its Finest
As a result of the hardtop, the RF is quieter than the regular MX-5 when it comes to cabin noise. Wind noise is moderate and acceptable with the top down and the driver and passenger can carry on a conversation without resorting to hand signals or shouting. This means Mazda’s engineers have done their job well. Top-down driving is the basic premise of any convertible, but Mazda has recognized that RF owners will likely spend far more time driving with the top up. This means that the opportunity to enjoy fun-in-the-sun driving is of greater importance than actually doing so. That said, the RF was meant to introduce an entirely different clientele to the profound joys of driving an MX-5, which it has undoubtedly succeeded.
A True Halo Car
While compact sedans and hatchbacks like the Mazda3 and crossovers like the CX-3 and CX-5 are the volume vehicles for the Japanese automaker that helps keep the bills paid, it’s the Mazda MX-5 RF and the standard MX-5 that promise to be and remain, respectively, the company’s halo cars. These are the irrepressibly cheerful-to-drive roadsters that people buy because of the sheer fun they provide. The MX-5 RF comes in two different trim levels with several option packages. If you’re an avid driver, definitely go for the Sport Package that adds 17-inch forged BBS wheels, Brembo front brakes and red painted calipers, as well as Recaro sport seats. There’s really not that much more to say about the Mazda MX-5 RF, is there?