Everyone’s favorite portable tanning machine is getting a timely upgrade. Just in time for summer, Mazda Philippines is releasing the 2017 MX-5 Retractable Fastback or MX-5 RF for short. Officially making its market debut at the 2017 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) at the end of the month, we were the first to see the Philippine-spec models as they prepare to make their way from the stockyard to Mazda showrooms.
Though Mazda has always espoused the exhilaration of open-air motoring with its roadster family, the MX-5 RF aims to appeal to a wider audience. It aims to “awaken hidden emotions” as MX-5 Project Manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto rightfully puts it.
As such, the Philippine-spec MX-5 RF comes with a single transmission option: a 6-speed automatic that pairs with the 155-horsepower 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine (the soft top continues with a choice between a manual and automatic). Together with the two-pedal configuration, the MX-5 RF sports a re-tuned chassis that provides a more relaxing and refined ride compared to the soft top. The Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) has been recalibrated as well. Together with the suspension tweaks, the MX-5 RF also has added sound insulation in the headliner and rear wheel housing making it significantly quieter than the soft top with the roof up or down.
Moving like a mechanical ballet, the MX-5 RF’s three-piece roof moves in sync making it achieve one of the fastest opening/closing times of any retractable hardtop (13 seconds). It can be operated at speeds up to 10 km/h with just a flip of a switch below the climate control. What’s more, it matches the soft top’s trunk capacity at 130 liters, enough to fit two carry-on bags measuring 550mm x 400 mm x 220mm.
Compared to Mazda’s previous retractable hard top effort, the third-generation MX-5 PRHT (Power Retractable Hard Top), the MX-5 RF is set apart by its elegant fastback styling, which Mazda considers to be the ideal form of a hardtop MX-5. The roof features a side section that slopes down to the rear while tucking in at the sides creating a teardrop shape for the cabin. And while the overhead roof panel and back glass are stowed out of sight, the rear roof stays in position even when the top is down. This creates a truly unique design expression. A large acrylic aero board wind blocker helps prevent air from the rear blowing back into the cabin. Dimensionally, the MX-5 RF sits 5 millimeters higher than the soft top.
For the Philippine market, the 2017 MX-5 RF will come with four standard colors: Ceramic, White Pearl, Jet Black, and Blue Reflex. There are two premium colors as well: Machine Gray and Soul Red.
Inside, the MX-5 RF keeps the basic design of the stop top with just minor detail changes. The first is a unique instrument cluster that adds a dedicated 4.6-inch colored TFT display. This screen not only displays an animation of the roof during operation, but also acts as the display to the on-board computer. All colors come with the option of Auburn-colored Nappa leather seats (with gray stitching). This soft-touch leather successfully enhances the interior even more.
The 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF retails for P 2,180,000 if opting for the standard colors and standard leather interior. It goes up to P 2,250,000 if you want the standard colors with a Nappa leather interior. Machine Gray and Soul Red, the two premium colors add a P 16,800 premium. You can get them with either the standard or Nappa leather interior. The first batch of 40 Mazda MX-5 RFs have all been spoken for with around half (19) going directly to members of the Miata Club of the Philippines. The 2017 MX-5 RF is now available for reservation at all Mazda dealerships nationwide with customer deliveries starting April 2.
2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Philippine Specs:
- Dimensions (L x W x H, in mm): 3,915 x 1,735 x 1,245
- Wheelbase (in mm): 2,310
- Curb Weight (kg):
- Engine: 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G DOHC 16V inline-4 with i-STOP idling stop and i-ELOOP regenerative braking
- Maximum Output: 155 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
- Maximum Torque: 200 Nm @ 4,600 rpm
- Fuel Tank Capacity (L): 45
- Front Suspension: Independent, Double Wishbone
- Rear Suspension: Independent, Multi-Link
- Brakes (F/R): Vented Disc / Solid Disc
- Tire Size: 205/45 R 17
- Exterior Features: LED headlights; LED tail lights; intermittent wipers; exhaust tail pipe finisher.
- Interior Features: Black leather seats (Option: auburn Nappa leather); leather wrapped steering wheel with steering wheel control & paddle shifters; Human Machine Interface (HMI) infotainment system with 7-inch touchscreen, CD/DVD, MP3, Aux, USB, Bluetooth; 4.6-inch full-color TFT LCD multi-info display integrated in meter set; rotary dial automatic climate control; push start/stop.
- Safety and Security: Dual front airbags; side impact airbags; ABS with EBD; Dynamic Stability Control; Rear Parking Sensors; Smart Keyless Entry System.
- Price: P 2,180,000 (Ceramic, White Pearl, Jet Black, and Blue Reflex)
- Price: P 2,250,000 (w/ Nappa leather).
- Price: P 2,266,800 (Machine Gray and Soul Red w/ Nappa leather).