The fascinating Mazda MX-5 RF (RF for Retractable Fastback), will arrive in Australia on 1 February 2017, and people are already visiting dealers to place orders on the fascinatingly shaped sportscar.

Mazda MX-5 program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto, who recently visited us in Australia, explained the reasoning behind the retractable roof, ” By the end of the third-generation MX-5’s model life, the retractable hardtop model accounted for more than half of all MX-5s sold and was popular with those who wanted all-season comfort and utility. The fourth-generation retractable hardtop model embodies the core value of “Lots of fun,” which the MX-5 has consistently offered over the past 26 years.

“Therefore, our challenge was to create a name that would more accurately define this new, more premium experience we envision will attract a new kind of buyer, yet preserve the unchanging values that MX-5 fans have admired since the inception of the model.”

Unlike the open-top Mazda MX-5 roadster that comes with the choice of a 1.5 or 2.0-litre engine, the RF will come to Australia only with the 118 kW, 200 Nm 2.0-litre engine. Naturally drive is to the rear wheels and there’s a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Mazda Australia will neither confirm nor deny that the 1.5-litre model is being considered for importation at a lower cost.


The fascinating roof can be powered open and closed at speeds of up to10 km/h. It consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass. When the roof is opened, the front and middle roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats.

No boot space is lost so the little Mazda still has a reasonable volume of 130 litres. Enough for two carryon aircraft bags as we found out during our road testing of the MX-5 convertible.

A sound-absorbing headliner used on the inside of the front and middle roof panels combines with sound insulation around the rear wheel housings that Mazda tells us results in significantly quieter ride when the roof is closed.

The weight of the MX-5 has increased by 45 kilograms to the suspension and steering systems have been tuned specifically for the RF.

Mazda MX-5 has been tremendously popular around the world and over a million have been sold, making it by far the biggest selling open sportscar of all time.


We have been invited to the Australian launch of the Mazda MX-5 RF in mid January ’17 and will bring our comments to you immediately afterwards.

Mazda dealers can take orders for the new RF now and it may be worthwhile to get in early as demand seems likely to be high.

Prices for the new Mazda MX-5 RF are:
MX-5 RF: $38,550 (manual), $40,550 (automatic)
MX-5 RF GT: $43,890 (manual), $45,890 (automatic)
MX-5 RF GT (Black Roof): $44,890 (manual), $46,890 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mazda dealer for drive-away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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