Mazda MX-5 RF (2017–)

Model History

October 2016

UK pricing announced for MX-5 RF

The Mazda MX-5 RF Retractable Fastback is on sale in the UK on the 4th March 2017.

With a limited run of just 500 cars, the six model range will be heralded by the flagship Launch Edition. Powered by a 160PS 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine, the Launch Edition is marked out by its unique twin-tone roof, BBS wheels, black door mirrors and black rear spoiler. Available with a choice of free-of-charge Soul Red or Machine Grey metallic paint, it also comes with a Safety Pack as standard, while the exclusive feel continues inside with Alcantara trim and Recaro seats.

As with the established Mazda MX-5 convertible, all models powered by the 2.0-litre 160ps engine feature a limited slip differential and 17-inch wheels; while Sport Nav models (and the Launch Edition) feature Bilstein dampers and strut brace to further enhance their dynamic set up. Plus, with the introduction of the £27,095 Sport Nav Auto, the current generation of MX-5 is offered with an automatic gearbox for the first time in the UK. Offered in both SE-L Nav and Sport Nav trim, RF’s powered by the 1.5-litre 131ps engine will arrive in dealerships in May.

Developed to deliver enhanced cabin comfort and a refined ride, while at the same time maintaining the agility, performance and driver engagement of the MX-5 convertible, the suspension and electric power steering parameters of the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF 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 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.

On the Launch Edition the front and middle roof sections feature a piano black finish that contrasts with the Soul Red or Machine Grey metallic paint, which both use Mazda’s unique “TAKUMINURI” paint process to deliver glossy depth and nuanced shading that 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.

Building on the all-new Mazda MX-5’s award-winning design, the RF’s roof up style will set it apart when it arrives on UK roads early next year. A 5mm increase in roof height aside, the RF retains the same overall length, width and wheelbase as the MX-5 convertible, but thanks to 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 in a completely unique way.

June 2018

Mazda MX-5 revised

Both soft-top and RF feature improvements in dynamic performance, an upgrade to Mazda's i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies, and refinements to design and packaging.

These include updated 1.5 and 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engines with improved combustion and greater torque comply with new WLTP/RDE test cycle and meet Euro 6d Temp emission regulations. Both powertrains benefit from refined acceleration control to minimise lag between throttle applications and vehicle response.

The SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine is now higher-revving and acoustically tuned, with maximum engine speed raised from 6800 to 7500 rpm, maximum horsepower increased from 160 to 184PS @ 7000rpm, and maximum torque from 200 to 205Nm @ 4000 rpm.

Five new i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies2: Advanced Smart City Brake Support which detects vehicles and pedestrians ahead and helps avoid collisions, and Smart City Brake Support (Reverse) which detects vehicles and obstacles behind, as well as Driver Attention Alert, a Traffic Sign Recognition System and a Rear View Camera.

The look of the car is enhanced by a darker paint finish for both 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels, and the availability of a new brown canopy colour for soft-top models.

July 2018

Mazda MX-5 gets more powerful engine

Substantially redesigned with lighter pistons and con-rod, the 2.0-litre engine also features revisions to the camshafts and exhaust valves, fuel injectors, throttle valve and air intake.

The end result is an increase from 160PS to 184PS and a heightened redline, which rises from 6800 to 7500rpm. In addition with higher fuel pressure and more efficient combustion, there’s an increase in torque across the rev range, while peak torque rises by 5Nm.

As a result on the convertible 0-62mph performance improves by 0.8 of a second to 6.5seconds, while manual and automatic RF models see a 0.6 and 0.5 second increase, respectively, while tuning of the main silencer delivers a cleaner more powerful engine note.

Even better, this enhanced performance hasn’t come at the cost of efficiency, as fully homologated to the WLTP/RDE test cycle, both the 2019 MX-5s engines achieve Euro 6d Temp emission regulation compliance, while the introduction of Mazda’s i-ELOOP and i-stop kinetic recovery and stop-start technology on 2.0-litre models means all 184PS cars have a lower CO2 output than the outgoing 160PS car.

The upgraded 184PS 2.0-litre engine will initially be offered exclusively in the new range-topping GT Sport Nav+ trim in both the RF and convertible, while SE-L Nav+ and Sport Nav+ 184PS models will go on sale later in the Autumn.

The 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine benefits from improved combustion and reduced internal friction to see a slight power increase to 132PS and a moderate torque improvement to 152Nm while at the same time retaining its superb efficiency and fuel economy. 2019 MX-5’s fitted with the smaller engine go on sale on the 1st September.

Across all models in the range, the 2019 MX-5 now features telescopic steering adjustment and improved seat sliding operation to further enhance driver comfort and improve the famous Jinba Ittai ‘car-and-driver as one’ ethos that sits at the heart of the MX-5 experience.

November 2018

Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 184 6-speed automatic introduced at £29,995. 6-speed torque converter auto with paddleshifts. Very high gearing in 6th at 35mph per 1,000rpm.

February 2019

Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition announced

3000 sold worldwide and 600 brought to the UK - 400 convertibles and 200 RF, all based on the 2.0-litre MX-5. Finished in Racing Orange paint with bespoke wheels and Brembo brakes. RF priced at £29,895 and convertible £28,095.

March 2020

Mazda MX-5 range updated including new flagship GT Sport Tech trim

The updated 2020 Mazda MX-5 is now available to order. Features a 10-model line-up - four Convertibles and six RFs - the 132ps 1.5-litre Convertible is offered in SE-L and Sport trim, while the 184ps 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine is matched to Sport Tech and the new range-topping GT Sport Tech trim. As with the Convertible, SE-L and Sport trim RF’s are powered by the 1.5-litre engine, while Sport Tech and GT Sport Tech come with the more powerful 2.0-litre engine. In addition, 2.0-litre RFs in both trim levels come with the option to choose an automatic gearbox.

New for the 2020 Mazda MX-5, the GT Sport Tech flagship model is marked out by 17-inch BBS alloy wheels and Burgundy Nappa leather seats, while across the whole range the MX-5 is available with Polymetal Grey Metallic paint for the first time. The updated version of Mazda’s sports car also benefits from extra standard safety equipment: from Sport models and above, the MX-5 features Front Smart City Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning System, Rear Smart City Brake Support, Traffic Sign Recognition and Driver Attention Alert. While Blind Spot Monitoring System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive LED headlights and a reversing camera are standard on Sport Tech and GT Sport Tech models.

Across all models in the range, the 2020 MX-5 features telescopic steering adjustment.

What does a Mazda MX-5 RF (2017) cost?

List Price from £24,125
Buy new from £22,266
Contract hire from £167.15 per month