The new Mazda MX-5 RF – that stands for ‘retractable fastback’ in case you were curious – is now available in South Africa. Basically a standard MX-5 Roadster with a hardtop that retracts in 13-seconds and at speeds of up to 10km/h, the RF costs R91 100 more than its already excellent rag-topped cousin. Priced at R532 800 it’s also R117 100 cheaper than its ridiculously overinflated cousin, the Abarth 124 Spider. It’s better looking too – especially with the top stowed out of sight.
Yeah, it’s kind of like a Japanese take on the classic 911 Targa. Good work, Mazda. In terms of power the RF comes bolted to the same keen-to-rev 2.0-litre engine you already find in the Roadster, which means 118kW and 200Nm – good enough for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.6-seconds. A limited-slip differential is standard as is satellite navigation and a nine-speaker Bose soundsystem. Downsides? Well for the time being we will only be able to get the RF with a six-speed automatic gearbox that inevitably blunts the car’s performance somewhat. But then again maybe you like this sort of thing? Either way we think this is one of the coolest new cars to launch this year. – Thomas Falkiner