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Mazda Reveals MX-5 Hardtop Ahead of New York Auto Show

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The Mazda MX-5 RF

As several news outlets predicted, just before the beginning of the New York Auto Show, Mazda has revealed a new hardtop version of the fourth-generation MX-5, and rather than a fully-retractable roof like is available for the soft top, Mazda has opted to make the hard-top “targa” style. It is being called the MX-5 RF, meaning “retractable fastback.”

A targa roof is a convertible top where the roof above the passengers retracts, but still leaves up a section of roof and roll bars right behind the seats. This gives the hardtop MX-5 a number of benefits, including a more rigid body structure (meaning less likelihood of injury if the car is flipped) and less complicated roof folding mechanism (meaning fewer parts that could break).

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On the other hand, watching the MX-5 om-nom-nom its own roof doesn’t exactly look like a simple operation.

First, the section right behind the seats (including the rear windshield) lifts up, allowing the hard top to fold into three separate sections and disappear into a special compartment, after which the rear windshield section closes back over the opening. If you wish to add your own ravenous munching noises while the roof opening is in operation, that is entirely your choice.

In addition to the rigid body structure, this gives passengers increased protection from the elements and less noise from the wind and tires. Oh, and as a nice pair of standard bonuses, the rear window is retractable and the trunk space is the same size as on the soft top model.

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Other interesting point: the MX-5 RF is going to feature a new premium color for Mazda’s lineup—Machine Gray. This will be the second premium color after Mazda’s iconic Soul Red, which has become almost synonymous with Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design style. Machine Gray is designed to make the vehicle it is on look like it was forged from a single steel ingot.

The MX-5 RF will be available for pre-order late this summer, with deliveries to come afterward. Pricing has not yet been announced.

News Sources: Mazda via Twitter, The Verge