2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF video preview

March 24, 2016

The Mazda Miata is one of the best sports cars on the road. New just last year, it still has a lock on nimble rear-drive handling.

We expected a power-hardtop version to join the lineup. Frankly, we weren’t expecting this--the MX-5 Miata RF.

MORE: Read about the Mazda Miata

RF stands for “retractable fastback,” and that’s a good description for the Miata’s fantastic new fold-away roof. It’s not a compact, temporary-looking piece like the last-generation folding-hardtop Miata. This one has sloping pillars that lift away so the center roof panel can stow beneath them.

When the roof is up, the Miata RF looks like a very handsome little coupe. With the roof panel powered out of sight, the Miata RF looks…out of sight. It’s a look not unlike Porsche’s 911 Targa—and probably as close to a true Miata coupe as we’ll ever get.

The fold-away top can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 7 mph. Since it’s a compact design with just a singled stored piece, the top fits in the same space as the standard Miata convertible top.

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The Miata RF doesn’t change much about what we love about the Miata. It’s powered by the same 2.0-liter inline-4 with 155 horsepower. It weighs about 100 pounds more than the standard car.

Zero to 60 mph times should still clock in at about six seconds with a 6-speed manual or automatic.

There’s no word on pricing or an on-sale date, but we expect the Miata RF to come in under $30,000, and to hit showrooms by late fall.

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