Mazda presents the MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) at the New York Auto Show

Mazda was supposed to reveal an exciting new car at the New York Auto Show and it has done so a little earlier than that, on the eve of the press days of the event. Meet the MX-5 RF, for Retractable Fastback, the hardtop version of the Miata. And possibly one of the most successful from now on. Check below how the hardtop goes into the trunk and out of it at the touch of a button.

The new car is about the same size of a MX-5 Miata: 3.92 m long, 1.74 m wide and 1.25 m tall (only 5 mm taller than the Miata).

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Wheelbase remains at 2.31 m. Mazda does not inform how much heavier the hardtop has made the car become, but it says the retractable roof can be put in place at speeds of up to 10 km/h. Mazda does not inform how long the hardtop takes to be put in place nor to be fully retracted.

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The new version of the roadster will have two engine options: a 1.5 4 cylinder and a 2.0 4 cylinder, both from the SKYACTIV-G petrol family. The 2.0 will be the only one offered in the USA. It produces 114 kW at 6,000 rpm and 201 Nm at 4,600 rpm, mated to 6-speed manual or automatic transmission options.

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The car uses 17-inch alloy wheels and 205/45 R17 tires. Its front suspension uses a double wishbone scheme, while the rear employs a multilink arrangement.

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Besides the retractable hardtop, the new MX-5 RF presents another interesting new feature, the Machine Gray paint. First presented by the CX-9, this paint makes the car look sculpted from a solid steel ingot, according to Mazda. We would like to see the car in person to see if it really gives this impression. And to drive it to make sure it is so good as most journalists have stated it is. No reasons to doubt that: just an excuse to drive a real driver’s car. Now, a much more practical one.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.