Having an MX-5 makes life richer and more fun. With this small, convertible sports car, we want to offer even more people a fun-filled life through driving pleasure.
Many people who would love to own a convertible end up choosing a car with a fixed hardtop roof instead. Hoping to share the wonder and thrill that come with putting the top down with this kind of customer, we offered a Power Retractable Hardtop for the first time on the third-generation MX-5. The first and second generations had both offered a detachable hardtop, but with its motor-driven retractable roof, the third-generation model made the joy of open-top driving accessible to a wider range of people and was a hit with customers around the world. With the hardtop version of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5, we stayed true to our aim of making open-top driving more accessible, but freed ourselves from traditional ways of thinking and took on new challenges in order to create something completely new, the Mazda MX-5 RF.
Changing Style, Unchanging Value, New Name
By the end of the third-generation MX-5's model life, the retractable hard top model accounted for more than half of all MX-5s sold and was popular with those who wanted all-season comfort and utility.
As a member of the MX-5 family, 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. At the same time it features a new and unique design and lets occupants enjoy a new kind of open-air driving feel. 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.
The result was MX-5 RF, a name that denotes the model's retractable hardtop and fastback styling, and will surely resonate with enthusiasts and drivers around the world.
Same philosophy. New design. MX-5 RF*.
*: RF stands for "Retractable Fastback".
Three key values that make the MX-5 RF unique and fun
Beautiful fastback styling that resonates with any car lover
- Appealing fastback styling with a beautiful smooth line joining the roof to the rear end. This is at the heart of all true sports car design.
- Designers worked hard to give the cabin the perfect teardrop shape.
- It features the same compact packaging as the soft-top model, including overall length, width and wheelbase. (Overall height is increased 5mm.).
- The soft touch of real Nappa leather adds a feeling of even higher quality and contributes to the relaxed, sophisticated ambience of the interior.
A new open-air sensation with a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin as well as a pleasing sense of freedom
- The MX-5 RF's retractable hardtop consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass.
- Detailed studies led to a roof design that, together with the retractable back window glass, realizes a new open-air experience that combines a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin with an invigorating sense of freedom.
- The model's unique design featuring a back window glass that retracts when the top is down enables the driver to fully enjoy the pleasing exhaust note coming from the rear, helping to deliver the true pleasure of the open-top driving experience.
- A large acrylic aero board wind blocker helps prevent air from the rear blowing back into the cabin.
- Synchronizing and overlapping the various movements of the roof sections enables MX-5 RF to achieve one of the fastest opening/closing times of any retractable hardtop.
- When the roof is open, the front and middle roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats.
- A new power top lock makes it possible to open and close the roof with the simple flip of a switch.
- A new control system enables the roof to be opened or closed, even when in motion at speeds of 6 mph (10km/h) or less. This is particularly useful if it suddenly begins to rain.
- At 4.6 cubic feet (130L DIN), trunk capacity is the same as the soft-top model, even when the roof is stowed behind the seats. The trunk can accommodate two carry-on bags measuring 550mm x 400mm x 220mm*1.
The design goal for the MX-5 RF was to create the ideal form for a hardtop version of the MX-5. In other words, it was to achieve an entirely new roof design that combines a beautiful cabin with the silhouette of a hardtop and the same level of open-air comfort and freedom afforded by the soft-top version. To this end, Mazda set about creating an uncompromising design based on the following four ideals.
- A beautiful silhouette: In contrast to the open-air styling of the soft-top model the MX-5 RF will often be appreciated for its hardtop styling with the roof closed. This demands that the cabin presents a beautiful silhouette when the roof is closed.
- The rear roof features side sections that slope down gently toward the rear, while also tucking in at the sides to create a perfect teardrop shape for the cabin. The flowing roof line along the A-pillars, roof sides and rear roof, which are painted in the body color, combine with the straight body line that runs from the low hood through to the rear deck, realizing an elegant, beautiful fastback silhouette that accentuates its styling.
While the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed out of sight, the rear roof stays in position when the top is down. This differs from any other hardtop model on the market to create a truly unique new design expression.
- Compact packaging: With the exception of a 5mm increase in the height of the roof, MX-5 RF maintains the same overall length, width and wheelbase as the soft-top model. This compact packaging properly expresses the stability and dynamism of the MX-5's road-gripping stance.
- A new open-air experience: MX-5 RF features unique styling when the roof is open by which the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed away out of sight. The result is a pleasing sense of freedom combined with a reassuring feeling of being wrapped securely in the cabin. This combines with the enjoyable exhaust note coming from the rear of the car to amplify the fun of open-air driving.
- Independent trunk: MX-5 RF does not sacrifice practicality for the sake of offering a retractable roof. In addition to the efforts of the designers and packaging engineers to realize a beautiful silhouette while adopting the hardtop, the independent trunk also secures the exact same luggage capacity as on the soft-top model.
Major interior design features include body panels that wrap around and extend right into the door trim, as well as a cockpit zone centered on the driver and around which all major controls are laid out in perfect symmetry. Special attention to every detail focused on transcending its existence as a mere automobile to become a sports car that owners will truly love. As with the soft-top model, the aim was to create a cockpit design that brings a smile to the face and gets the heart pounding simply by looking at it or sitting in the driver's seat. Benefitting from its hardtop, MX-5 RF significantly improves ride quietness and heightens the feeling of high quality.