2017 Mazda MX-5 RF: Folding Fastback Fun Starts at $32,390

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Mazda has kicked off presale orders for its 2017 MX-5 RF, the “retractable fastback” that gives would-be convertible buyers an extra feature to help win their spouse’s support.

Introduced to salivating journalists at the New York Auto Show, the model starts at $32,390 (including a $835 destination charge) in Club trim — a $2,955 increase over a 2016 MX-5 Club.

The model blends elements of the convertible and the defunct coupe, employing a targa-style retractable roof for partial al fresco motoring. Powertrain components are borrowed, unchanged, from the raved-about MX-5. Because this is a Pure Sports Car, a six-speed manual transmission comes standard; opting for the six-speed automatic tacks an extra $730 to the entry price.

The first orders are devoted to the high-end Launch Edition variant, with first dibs on the 1,000 unit allotment reserved for Miata loyalists. That model retails for $34,685 with a manual, or $35,760 with an automatic. Surprisingly, Mazda claims there’s still some available.

Buyers looking for a less exclusive ride will have to wait until the full range of RFs arrive in early 2017. The model stands apart from its cloth-topped siblings with a 4.6-inch TFT gauge, blind spot monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (which shows up on all 2017 MX-5 Club models), and seven-inch Mazda Connect touchscreen infotainment system. A Bose nine-speaker stereo incorporates speakers built into the vehicle’s headrests, meaning your retro iPod mix won’t disappear into the slipstream.

MX-5 RF Club models equipped with a manual transmission can be optioned with a Brembo/BBS Package. That loot bag, which includes side sill body extensions, a front shock-tower brace, grippier brakes and lightweight 17-inch wheels, brings the vehicle’s price to $35,790.

Uplevel Grand Touring-spec MX-5 RFs start at $33,455, with automatic models retailing for $34,660.

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Duffman13 Duffman13 on Oct 06, 2016

    Personally, I thought the RF Miata offered a benefit over the soft-top: The abilty to do a track day without the requirement to gut the rear plastics and install an aftermarket rollbar. I know I'm in the minority with that opinion, but take it for what it is. Seeing this pricing, it just doesn't make sense to me, particularly at $35k for the Brembo/BBS option. For The same money you could buy a BRZ with the new Brembo/sachs/wheels package at sticker price and have money left over to get yourself a decent condition NA or NB for some top-down fun.

  • Kato Kato on Oct 06, 2016

    I too fail to see the point of this thing. I predict it will have limited appeal and low sales. They should build a Miata coupe ala MGBGT or Z3 coupe. It would have most of the appeal of a Miata and be way more practical.

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