Broadening the appeal of the world’s number one selling convertible two seater sports car was the challenge faced by the Mazda MX-5 design team.

One look at the All-New Mazda MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) and it becomes abundantly clear that the MX-5 designers have succeeded in creating a stunning looking vehicle that will appeal to drivers who want the thrill of open air driving combined with the feeling of being wrapped in a luxurious cabin.

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Andrew Clearwater, Managing Director Mazda New Zealand, says he continues to be amazed by the ingenuity and skill demonstrated by the Mazda design team.

“The MX-5 has been providing New Zealand motorists with the thrill of open top motoring for 27 years. The new Mazda MX-5 RF will continue to deliver the exhilarating driving experience in a dramatic fastback styling that is at the heart of all true sports car design.


“I believe the MX-5 RF will appeal to existing MX-5 owners and create a new market among those drivers who have always wanted the feeling of driving a convertible but tended to buy hardtop sports cars. The MX-5 RF provides them with the best of both worlds that is packaged in such an amazing design.”

When the roof is closed the MX-5 RF presents a beautiful silhouette achieved through the rear roof side sections sloping towards the rear which tuck into the sides to create the perfect teardrop shape for the cabin. The designers also put considerable effort into creating fine parting lines to make the roof and body appear as a single piece that further enhances its unique fastback styling.


In New Zealand you can experience four seasons in one day. The MX-5 RF enables drivers to quickly adapt to changing weather by a simple press of a switch located below the air condition dials. The roof opens/closes in approximately 13 seconds, the fastest of any retractable hardtop on the market and is displayed on a LCD screen allowing the driver to check on the progress of the sequence without having to turn around.

Space has not been sacrificed in the development of the MX-5 RF. It still offers the same boot capacity as the soft top model while the overall length and wheelbase remain the same as the MX-5 soft top with the only change being the 5mm increase in the height of the roof. The designers took great care to minimise the weight of all the parts needed to change the vehicle to a hardtop and as a result the amount of weight added over that of the soft-top was approximately 47kg.

Drivers of a closed top sports car expect a greater level of quietness and the MX-5 RF delivers this using urethane noise absorption in the roof and the placement of noise absorption materials around the rear housing and trim, centre tunnel, instrument panel and floor.

The interior of the MX-5 RF is like that of the soft top model but with a few changes. These include all RF models having a full colour LCD screen, a larger wind blocker to suppress rear wind swirl, and the addition of Nappa leather for the special launch edition model. The result is a quality cabin environment that further enhances the driving experience.


The MX-5 is renowned for its outstanding driving dynamics and the MX-5 RF continues this tradition through utilising SKYACTIV Technologies and KODO Design to ensure it delivers the same performance and feel of the soft top model.

“The MX-5 RF will, like other models in the MX-5 lineup, put a smile on people’s faces as soon as they get behind the wheel and experience the thrill of driving this vehicle,” says Andrew Clearwater.

As with all Mazda vehicles, driver/passenger safety is paramount and the MX-5 RF carries over the use of i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies and passive safety features including Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), High Beam Control System (HBC) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS).

Six exterior colours are available that further enhance the stunning looks of the vehicle: Crystal White Pearl, Ceramic Metallic, Soul Red Metallic, Blue Reflex Mica, Jet Black Mica and Machine Grey Metallic.

The MX-5 RF is powered by the 2.0L SKYACTIV-G petrol engine and available in three models plus one special launch edition model. MX-5 2.0L RF GSX 6AT with an RRP of $48,495, MX-5 2.0L RF Limited 6MT at $51,495, MX-5 2.0L RF Limited 6AT at $52,995 and the MX-5 2.0L RF-S Limited 6AT (special launch edition) at $54,995.

mazdacare features as standard with every new Mazda MX-5 RF – a commitment Mazda makes to ensure each new vehicle continues to perform in optimum condition. mazdacare comprises a Mazda Genuine Factory Warranty and Mazda On Call Roadside Assistance for a 5 year, unlimited kilometre period and Genuine Mazda Servicing for 3 years/100,000 km (whichever occurs first) at no extra cost.

*Press Releases are direct from the Manufacturer, and not edited in any way.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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