Taking place from the 23rd to 26th June, the UK’s leading automotive event, the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed, sees the European debut of the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF along with other Mazda highlights on their stand including the one-millionth production MX-5, plus the MX-5 Spyder and Speedster concept cars.
It's already the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car, and now the new Mazda MX-5 RF is aiming to "offer a new dimension of open-top driving fun" via some ‘fastback’ styling that gives it a unique appearance, retractable hardtop roof up or down, broadening its appeal.
“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.
And while we are on the subject of the roof, let's remind ourselves that the MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of 3 sections - front, middle and rear roof - as well as a rear screen, opening at the touch of a button even when the car is moving at up to 6mph; and when the top is lowered the front and middle portions are stowed together, while the rear glass sits behind the seats. This leaves the rear roof section still in place to create a unique open-topped look, and a feeling that you are still in a car, safe and sound, by creating a cabin feeling along with open air freedom.
Overall, apart from a minor 5mm increase in roof height aside, the new Mazda MX-5 RF is still the same size as its previous convertible MX-5 incarnation, and Mazda are hoping that visitors to the Mazda stand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be wowed by the new MX-5 RF and its new premium paint colour – Machine Grey - that gives 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.
It is the roof that is the focus point of much of the all-new Mazda MX-5’s award-winning design, although the teardrop-shaped silhouette that accentuates the dynamic and contemporary sports car proportions will have a lot to say too.
"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."
The all-new Mazda MX-5 RF will be available in the UK next year, and Managing Director of Mazda Motors UK, Jeremy Thomson, hopes it will be writing a new chapter in the MX-5 success story. “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.”
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