The Mazda MX-5 RF Targa Top has been revealed

The Mazda MX-5 RF, the hard-top version of Mazda's latest roadster, has been revealed and will be shown at this year’s New York motor show.

The name RF is devised from the retractable fastback roof design, Mazda has reinvented its popular hard-top MX-5 for its fourth-generation model, taking on a Porsche 911 Targa-style aesthetic characterised by hinged rear pillars and a powered, stowable middle section and rear window.

As well as a different design over its predecessor, the MX-5 RF roof is fully automatic for the first time, the control system enables the roof to open and close at speeds of up to 6mph. When open, the front and middle roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats. As a result you can still achieve 130 litres of luggage space which compares the same as the soft-top MX-5.

The roof design is poles apart from the previous Mk3 Roadster Coupe’s more conventional folding hardtop. This time around the entire roof isn’t stowed; instead the rear buttresses temporarily lift and return to their original position, in the meantime allowing the split-folding targa-style roof panels to sweep themselves into the space behind the rear seats, along with the glass rear screen. An acrylic windbreak helps prevent turbulent air buffeting back into the cabin.

Mazda's main aim was to create a car that looks like a fastback coupe with the roof up, and combines open air driving with a more secure-feeling cabin when it’s down. With an electronically released top-lock, the roof opens and closes at the touch of a switch, provided the car’s travelling at a speed of 6mph or lower.

As you’d expect, Mazda promises the cabin is noticeable quieter than the soft-top MX-5, with sound-absorbing headlining on the roof panels and extra sound insulation around the rear wheel housings.In accordance with the new roof’s increased weight (Mazda’s keeping conspicuously quiet about specific weight figures – but you can expect a penalty in the region of around 50kg), there are minor adjustments to the suspension and power steering settings for the ride/handling balance.

For further information on the latest Mazda MX-5 click here, call Underwoods Motor Group Mazda on 01206 844423, or visit the dealership on Ipswich Road, Colchester, CO4 9HS.