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Mazda MX-5 sportster goes hard-top

  • Fastback looks for hard-top MX-5 convertible
  • 2016 World Car of the Year for online buying
  • Change your car in only 13 seconds

    NEW HARDTOP FROM MAZDA. Image: Mazda / Newspress
    NEW HARDTOP FROM MAZDA: You can now have the 2016 World Car of the Year, Mazda’s MX-5 – with a retractable hard top. Image: Mazda / Quickpic

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Mazda Southern Africa has at last launched the clever Mazda MX-5 RF – it stands for Retractable Fastback – but through a digital retail event which takes users directly to the selling hub for ordering.

The car is based on the fourth-generation MX-5 Roadster Coupe which was launched in early 2016 and has since, Mazda says, won more than 280 automotive awards around the world – among them becoming the first car to both the 2016 World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year.

NEW HARDTOP FROM MAZDA. Image: Mazda / Newspress
FAMILIAR FACIA: Pretty much everything in the hard-top convertible is the same as in the soft-top that was launched in South Africa in 2016.  Image: Mazda / Quickpic

The MX-5 also happens to be the world’s best-selling roadster; now perhaps it will be on the way to becoming the world’s best-selling roadster, too…


The new top closes/opens in 13 seconds what the automaker describes as “a beautifully choreographed sequence” at the flip of a switch at up to 10km/h – so you can show off in slow rush-hour traffic.

The company adds that the RF “handles every bit as well as its perfectly balanced sibling” and is quieter – roof up – than the soft-top convertible. Stowing the roof efficiently in the limited boot space means the RF still has the luggage volume of its older sister – 127 litres – but a multi-purpose box in the trunk can be used to store tools and other items.

READ MORE Mazda features on Carman’s Corner

An animation is displayed on the facia touchscreen to show the driver the roof’s changing status.

NEW HARDTOP FROM MAZDA. Image: Mazda / Newspress
SIX-SPEED AUTO ONLY: The RF model also has a 19cm touchscreen that includes satnav. Image: Mazda / Quickpic

Under the bonnet is the same two-litre, 118kW / 200Nm, six-speed, SkyActiv petrol engine but with a six-speed auto transmission. Added, however, are adapyive headlights, lane-departure auditing, blind-spot monitors and satnav.


The Mazda MX-5 RF is backed up by a three-year unlimited distance factory warranty, a three-year service plan, three years of roadside assistance and a five-year no-rust-through warranty.

Essentially, the RF is the same as the soft-top model except for the metal top, so has…

2.0 RF Roadster Coupe Automatic – R532 800
for which you get…

  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Keyless push-button engine start
  • Two front and side crash bags
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio capability
  • Auto aircon and cruise control
  • Daytime running lights and emergency flashing brake lights
  • Automatic diode headlights and adaptive front lights
  • Leather upholstery, steering-wheel, handbrake grip and shifter knob
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Premium Bose 203W amplifier with nine speakers
  • Auto wipers and auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • 19cm touchscreen display
  • 17″ alloy wheel rims

READ MORE about the Mazda MX-5 on Carman’s Corner

NEW HARDTOP FROM MAZDA. Image: Mazda / Newspress
FASTBACK FROM MAZDA: …and not only the car but also the metallic roof on the MS-5 RF that can be raised or dropped in 13 seconds. Image: Mazda / Quickpic

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