In August, Mazda Malaysia launched the updated MX-5 RF, with prices starting from RM259,154 for the manual transmission and RM260,354 for the automatic. That’s nearly RM37k more than the original sticker price, though included is a five-year/100,000 km warranty and a five-year/100,000 km free service package.

Now, the 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine features redesigned pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft, throttle body and intake valves, and now revs 700 rpm higher at 7,500 rpm. The output has been raised to 184 PS at 7,000 rpm (up from 160 PS), while torque gets a slight bump to 205 Nm (up from 200 Nm) at 4,000 rpm.

Mazda claims that torque has been increased across the entire rev range, and top-end torque gets boosted by as much as 15%. The engine sounds better too, thanks to a reworked exhaust system. Other minor tweaks include telescopic steering adjustment (previously omitted due to weight) in addition to the existing tilt adjustment, along with cruise control and a 4.6-inch colour TFT LCD multi-info display. The seven-inch touchscreen also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Standard equipment includes adaptive LED headlights with a matrix high beam, LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels in a new black finish instead of gunmetal grey, reverse sensors, keyless entry with walk-away lock, push-button start, auto lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto air-conditioning, leather upholstery, and a nine-speaker Bose sound system (including headrest speakers).

Safety-wise, there’s four airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist and lane departure warning, but unfortunately we don’t get autonomous emergency braking that was also introduced globally with this model year update, nor the reverse camera.