The best of both worlds

Avto 10 July, 2017
  • Photo courtesy Mazda
    Don’t get me wrong ! Thanks to its retractable roof original, the Mazda MX-5 RF did a cabin roof.

    Jacques Welcome

    Sunday, July 9, 2017 20:01

    Sunday, July 9, 2017 20:01

    Look at this article

    For several years, the convertible Mazda MX-5 is recognized as ” the ” car of summer par excellence. The manufacturer now offers a new variant designated by the letters RF, which combines the pleasure of the cabriolet, the elegance of a coupe.

    The Mazda MX-5 has nearly 30 years. Yet, it never gets old. It embodies the concept of the roadster affordable led hair in the wind. A recipe that Mazda has managed to preserve over the four generations that have succeeded each other since 1989, when this car was called the Miata.

    The current model, on sale since 2015, he still has a cabin a bit cramped and a “small” four-cylinder aspirated, which responds admirably to the demands. He is married to a chassis, steering, brakes and an independent suspension that will work wonders ! Not surprising, since there is a distribution of mass in ideal (50/50).

    Some neophytes make a mockery of this engine, Skyactiv 2.0 L, which develops 155 hp. It may, nonetheless, this car, which does not weigh more than 1100 kg, it traverses up to 100 km/h in less than 6.5 s with an acceleration very linear. Two gearboxes, six-speed are proposed to transmit this power, however humble it may be, to the rear wheels, a manual offering a handling surgical married to a clutch very flexible, and an automatic preference for the urban dwellers who regularly engage the urban traffic of the rush hour. It should be noted that the manufacturer did not claim any extra charge for the automatic transmission, which is one of the options.

    You receive a dose of enthusiasm ? Can’t hide this feeling, because every time I take the wheel of an MX-5, it is a pleasure renewed. Not surprising that you only see people smiling at the edge of this little convertible !

    There are, however, motorists who want a bit more than the MX-5 classic – one of the purists. They are looking for the elegance of a coupe or hope to benefit from a sound insulation increased as a result of a rigid roof. Or they bet on a new style that will make heads turn. There are even those rare of sporty driving enthusiasts who simply want a small sports car ” four seasons “. It is to them that Mazda has the new MX-5 RF (” Retractable Fastback “), a variant of the convertible. The RF is the successor to the MX-5 PRHT (Power Retractable Hard-Top “), the coupé-cabriolet offered until the arrival of the current MX-5. However, while the PRHT calquait largely the appearance of the roadster with its roof forms plump, RF, it, adopt the silhouette trompe-l’oeil of a coupe. But the roof is beautiful and well retractable.

    Photo courtesy Mazda

    The MX-5, RF has the same interior as the MX-5 convertible. It is distinguished by its craftsmanship and materials of good quality.



    The hardtop MX-5 RF allows you to discover the cabin in 13 seconds. A succession of movements, which resembles a succession of arabesques, allows its elements to eliminate sections front and center behind the seats before the rear section back to its original place by adopting the appearance of a roof ” targa “.

    This can be done by rolling up to 10 km/h For safety reasons, the roof mechanism cannot be actuated when the car is in reverse or when the trunk is open.

    The reverse operation does not take more time and the roof locks without the driver’s intervention to the upper part of the windshield. In addition, the glass of the doors, which drop down automatically during these operations, then restored to their original position.

    The retractable roof only adds little to this Mazda. Made of aluminum for its front section, steel for its central part, and composite prepreg for the rear, it only adds 45 kg to the mass. In addition, it reduces the useful volume of the trunk of 3 L only (127 L instead of 130). This safe is small indeed. Even the Smart Fortwo has a trunk (convertible) more large (260-350 L). However, fans of the MX-5 know that a round-trip Montreal-Miami with this car is feasible. It is sufficient to adopt the formula “bikini brush” and make a stop at the shopping centre if necessary !

    Photo courtesy Mazda

    When the roof is in place, the MX-5 RF has the appearance of a small sports coupe.



    The RF belies a little the concept roadster’s affordable as it costs more than $ 40,000 once the final bill is established. The base price of this novelty (which is not found in the range of the Fiat 124 Spider, a twin brother of the convertible) range from 38 800 42 200 $, while those of the MX-5 convertible range from 31 900 39 200 $.

    The manufacturer also offers two levels of staffing, well-trimmed for the RF : GS and GT, which are also available for the MX-5 convertible. In sum, the MX-5 RF have essentially the same characteristics as their counterparts in soft-top and their price is increased to $ 3,000 because of the retractable roof.

    These two versions have alloy wheels, 17-inch rather than 16 inch of the MX-5 GX convertible input range. They also have a guidance system incorporated into their chain of infotainment with a touch-sensitive screen of 7 inches, and of a control knob placed on the center console (where the driver rests his right arm…). Staffing also includes a tower brace shock absorber, which adds to the rigidity of the chassis, a limited slip differential and suspension settings to sport with Bilstein shock absorbers.

    The staffing of the MX-5 RF GS can be enhanced by adding the optional set Sport (4400 $), which includes alloy wheels BBS satin black and front brakes, Brembo, seats, heated sport Recaro, trimmed with leather and Alcantara.

    The MX-5 RF GT, by the way, the luxury associated with a leather upholstery, a Bose audio system with nine speakers (including the headrests) and an automatic air conditioner. In addition, the devices help in the conduct that it shared with the GS (monitoring blind spots and rear cross traffic) adds a warning system of hedging, a rear-view mirror dimming driver-side and headlamps automatically change beam.

    The purchaser of this version is that it can improve its staffing by opting for all the optional Grand Sport (3600 $). He added the rims BBS and high-performance Brembo brakes of the Sport package for the GS, but also bucket seats dressed in Nappa leather auburn and a black roof piano, two attributes that distinguish this MX-5 in the batch.

    Finally, please remember that the Mazda MX-5 enjoys excellent resale value and that it is covered by the only warranty unlimited mileage available in Canada.

    A million MX-5 and it continues

    Photo courtesy Mazda

    The one millionth MX-5 produced.


    On April 22, 2016, Mazda manufactured the one millionth MX-5. This was happening in a factory Mazda in Hiroshima, 27 years after the entry into production of the iconic roadster japan, April 1989.

    To mark this milestone in 2016, the millionth MX-5 has been trimballée in a series of events held in various countries. We saw, for example, the flower Festival, Hiroshima, at the Festival of speed Goodwood, Uk, Australia, and in a dozen cities in the United States, but in Canada it has only one stop : Toronto. During this world tour, more than 20,000 fans have affixed their signature on this car before it is repatriated to the Museum Mazda, in Japan.

    Since its launch in 1989, the MX-5 has earned more than 250 awards worldwide, including the titles of world Car of the year and car Design of the year worldwide in 2016, attributed to the current model.

    In may 2000, this Mazda has even found its way into the Guinness Book of world records under the heading of “Convertible sporty two-seater most sold in the world,” with 531 890 copies sold. The manufacturer did not imagine probably not exceed one million copies 16 years after !

    Mazda MX-5 RF

    Base price

    38 800 $ (MX-5 RF GS); 42 200 $ (MX-5 RF GT).

    Transport and preparation

    1795 $


    L4 DOHC, 2.0 L, 155-hp at 6000 rpm, 148 lb-ft at 4600 rpm. Manual gearbox or 6-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive.


    Four-wheel independent Suspension. Disc brakes to all four wheels. Anti-lock braking system series. Tires : 205/45R17.


    Wheelbase : 2309 mm; length : 3914 mm; width : 1918 mm; height : 1245 mm. Weight : 1114-1131 kg. Tank capacity : 45 litres. Trunk Volume : 127 L. average Consumption (manufacturer; BVM) : 8.0 L/100 km.


    Fiat 124 Spider

    Mini Convertible

    Volkswagen Beetle cabriolet


    • Car sticks to the road
    • Manual transmission superb
    • Elegant Silhouette
    • Excellent resale value

    Weak Points

    • Interior space cramped
    • Small chest
    • Soundproofing limited