Mazda MX5/Miata was already the best selling roadster ever and, in 2016, it introduced a new body version named RF – Retractable Fastback.
The Japanese carmaker used a British recipe: a small engine in the front, the power went to the rear wheels, and the vehicle was as light as possible. While the Miata’s first-generation tipped the scale lower than one ton, the 2016 version was already heavier due to the introduction of comfort and safety features. At the same time, it kept the four-pot engines under the hood, but with a higher power.
Mazda imagined a new look for its light, nimble roadster. It added a B-pillar and a retractable roof on top of it. When the driver uncovered the car, it wasn’t a true roadster anymore. It was more of a targa. It was as a roadster as a Honda Civic DelSol two decades before it. Unlike the Honda, which featured fixed pillars and a power-operated top, Mazda used a different way to remove the top of the vehicle. But the idea was the same, and, after all, it wasn’t a true roadster anymore.
The car’s interior was the same as the one from the regular rag-top version with high-bolstered Recaro seats. The MX5/Miata offered an instrument cluster with three round dials and a center-mounted tachometer. It created a great view and a race-inspired image for the driver. Due to its high center console, Mazda separated the driver from its front passenger.
Mazda installed its revolutionary 2.0-liter Skyactive engine that offered up to 167 hp, depending on the market under the hood. It was paired to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed auto. The MX5/Miata RF was a driver-focused vehicle, and the carmaker installed a standard LSD for the drive axle.