Mazda MX-5 RF 7

Mazda has revealed estimated pricing of its MX-5 RF in the United Kingdom – the hardtop targa version of its venerable roadster is now open for booking there, and will go on sale on March 4 next year.

Setting the RF – which stands for Retractable Fastback – apart from the standard soft top model is the three-part power-folding roof. The front and middle portions fold and stow under the rear buttresses, creating a cabin that Mazda says combines the freedom of open air with a sense of security. The roof adds 5 mm in overall height, although it is still unclear how much weight it adds to the lithe MX-5.

Inside, a sound-absorbing headliner on the front and middle roof panels and sound insulation around the rear wheel wells are designed to offer a significantly quieter cabin with the roof closed. The suspension and steering have also been retuned to improve ride comfort, whilst retaining the roadster’s trademark agility, performance and driver involvement.

Mazda MX-5 RF 6

For now, buyers can only opt for the 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G direct-injected four-cylinder engine, producing 160 PS at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,600 rpm. A six-speed SkyActiv-MT manual gearbox sends power to the rear wheels, but the optional six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic on the top Sport Nav trim is a first for the ND MX-5 in the UK. The 131 PS/150 Nm 1.5 litre models will go on sale in May.

Pricing starts at £22,195 (RM113,800) for the 1.5 SE-L Nav and jumps to £23,095 (RM118,400) for the 2.0 SE-L Nav. Moving up, the 1.5 Sport Nav retails at £24,795 (RM127,100), the 2.0 Sport Nav costs £25,695 (RM131,700) and the 2.0 Sport Nav auto is £27,095 (RM138,900). All 2.0 litre models get 17-inch wheels and a limited-slip differential.

The SE-L Nav receives navigation (obviously), LED headlights, gunmetal wheels, fabric seats and the MZD Connect infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen. The Sport Nav model adds silver wheels, heated black leather seats, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors and a nine-speaker Bose sound system (with headrest speakers, just like the original NA).

Mazda-MX-5-RF-11-2

Mazda is also offering a Launch Edition, priced at £28,995 (RM148,700). Limited to just 500 units, it is differentiated by a two-tone roof, gloss black wing mirrors and rear spoiler, 17-inch BBS wheels and Recaro seats in Alcantara.

It also throws in the £400 (RM2,000) Safety Pack, which adds High Beam Control and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, for free, along with a choice of either Soul Red or Machine Grey Metallic premium paints, a £670 (RM3,400) option on other models.

Closer to home, Malaysians could get the Mazda MX-5 RF even sooner than the UK, with Bermaz sources saying that it will arrive on our shores either at the end of the year or early next year. An added bonus for us – the RF will come with a manual option for the first time!