Since the actual generation of the MX-5 was announced, Mazda has experienced an incremented success in the entry-level sports cars. Way back, the Miata always has been an interesting compact with a lot to offer for the young market, thirsty of moderate performance with an affordable price tag.
Many body styles for the new Miata were forecasted by big experts in the automotive industry to be announced during any of the auto shows planned for this year. Recently, during the 2016 New York Auto Show, Mazda decided to debut a really interesting variant of its little, sexy car.
The 2017 MX-5 Miata RF represents the affordable convertible sports car for everyone. Widely based on the amazing MX-5, the RF stands for Retractable Fastback. As you can figure it out by the name, this means that we are getting an outstanding fastback-style coupé with a retractable roof. This will the perfect toy for summer.
Let’s take a further look.
Specs and Mechanics
Just like the base model, the Miata RF will pack a 1.5 L four-cylinder powerplant or a Skyactiv 2.0 L four-cylinder, depending on your market. The last, bigger one will be available in the U.S. Along with any of these engines, we are getting a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, depending on tastes.
Other mechanical details remained ignored because most people were paying extra attention to the retractable roof. Nevertheless, we already know that this sports car is getting almost everything from the base model. Based on that, we can talk a little bit about specs we already know.
The power output of the base model is rated at 155 horsepower at 6000 RPM and 148 lb-ft of peak torque at 4600 RPM. The performance tests threw the following numbers: an acceleration from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and a drag-limited top speed of 129 mph. The stopping power allowed a braking from 70 mph to zero in 158 ft.
The Fastback Design
Everybody showed genuine excitement during the Miata RF announcement. The new fastback design is more than appreciated. The high-flying lines in the rear, along with the curvy form full of psychedelic lines is a pure delight to see and experience.
This new design allows the use of an untypical top for Mazda. The dimensions of the base MX-5 were quite singular, so things had to change to make possible this new model. Even with important modification to fit the retractable top, the cockpit space remains pleasant and don’t represent an issue.
Presented in a serious Machine Gray paint, we can see the level of sex appeal of this little sports car. Notice that the CX-9 debuted this interesting color for Mazda before. From a side, we can enjoy the overall impression of the refreshed form. Don’t get fool by the small, rear-three-quarter windows: they aren’t real windows, only trim pieces with a black finish.
The cutting-edge retractable top will add around 150 pounds to the total weight, so performance could be affected notably by this big addition. The system on the Miata RF is highly similar to the one on the Porsche 911 Targa, so we can expect a world-class quality in terms of operation.
Once in the interior, we will find a lot of gray and red, being the first use of red interior detailing for a Miata in more than 20 years. The trim-level structure, defining exterior features and interior capabilities and items, is not available yet. The maker promised this information close to the end of this same year.
The Bottom Line: Is the Miata RF for Me?
The 2017 MX-5 Miata RF is a truly affordable sports car for the young market. While you are not getting a hardcore performance and top-notch materials inside the cabin, this Asian compact could be able to deliver an entertaining and thrilling experience without a roof.
The estimated price tag is around $27,000.