With the European debut of the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF as the focal point, Mazda will celebrate the past, present and future of the MX-5 at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Having made its global debut at the New York Motor Show in March, the RF ‘Retractable Fastback’ will take centre stage on the Mazda UK stand this June, while other MX-5 highlights include the one-millionth production MX-5, plus the MX-5 Spyder and Speedster concept cars.
Designed to offer a new dimension of open-top driving fun, while at the same time staying true to the rationale of the previous generation MX-5 retractable hardtop, the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF’s ‘fastback’ styling gives it a unique appearance roof up or down, broadening the appeal of the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car.
“With the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF we freed ourselves from traditional ways of thinking and took on fresh challenges in order to create something new. Our aim was a convertible sports car with gorgeous fastback lines when the roof is closed and an exhilarating open-air feeling when open”, commented Nobuhiro Yamamoto, Mazda MX-5 Programme Manager.
The MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of front, middle and rear roof sections, and a rear screen. When the top is lowered the front and middle portions are stowed together, while the rear glass sits behind the seats, leaving the rear roof section in place to create a unique open-topped look, and a cabin feeling that combines a sense of open air freedom with the impression of being securely ensconced within the car.
A 5mm increase in roof height aside, the RF retains the same overall length, width and wheelbase as the convertible, while the fully automated hardtop is one of the fastest available, opening at the touch of a button even when the car is moving at up to 6mph.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed staring MX-5 RF will feature Mazda’s new premium paint colour – Machine Grey. Designed to accentuate the subtle yet dynamic surfaces of Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion exteriors, Machine Grey intensifies the contrasts between light and shadow with its high-density finish, giving the impression that the body was sculpted from a solid block of steel.
“If we consider the convertible model to represent the purist of lightweight sports car appeal, the new Retractable Fastback epitomises a new type of MX-5 that aims to be a compact sports car with a natural charm that everyone will find beautiful”, commented Masashi Nakayama, Mazda MX-5 Chief Designer.
Building on the all-new Mazda MX-5’s award-winning design, the RF’s roof up style wowed crowds on its debut in New York and will doubtless do the same in Sussex this summer. With gently downward slopping buttresses that tuck in at the sides to create a teardrop shape, the RF’s elegant fastback silhouette accentuates the MX-5’s dynamic and contemporary sports car proportions.
Developed to deliver enhanced cabin comfort and a refined ride, while at the same time maintaining the agility, balance and performance of the convertible, the suspension and electric power steering parameters have been specifically tuned for the Retractable Fastback. In addition, a sound-absorbing headliner used in the front and middle roof panels combines with sound insulation around the rear wheel housings to deliver a significantly quieter cabin when the roof is closed.
On sale in the UK in 2017, the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF adds another model to Mazda’s award-winning range and promises to write a new chapter in the MX-5 success story. Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director of Mazda Motors UK said, “we’re delighted that British fans will get to see the RF at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. With over 120,000 sales since its launch in 1990, the UK has played a huge part in the MX-5 success story and the RF offers something new that I’m sure will attract even more people to this amazing sports car when it goes on sale next year.”
Adding, “It’s also great that we have the one-millionth MX-5 with us at Goodwood, as this car is a physical milestone that highlights the continued success of the MX-5. With the current convertible we have a spectacular car that continues to win praise from our customers and the media alike, and having been crowned both World Car of the Year and UK Car of the Year, we’re looking forward to another bumper year of MX-5 convertible sales.”
Taking place from the 23rd to 26th June, the UK’s leading automotive event will see a full celebration of the world’s best- selling two-seater sports car.