2018 Mazda MX-5 RF – Video
1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine
Carried over unchanged from the MX-5 convertible, Mazda’s efficient SKYACTIV-G petrol engines are enhanced for use in the MX-5. Lighter and more compact intake and exhaust systems deliver heightened performance and enhanced sounds. With revised cam timing and a custom steel crankshaft, the 1.5-litre 131ps SKYACTIV-G’s redline is raised to 7,000rpm and power output is improved over versions used in the Mazda2 and Mazda3. This engine offers a higher output than the Mk3 1.8-litre MX-5 at the same time as delivering far better fuel economy and lower emissions.
2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine
Specifically tuned for wider low and mid-range torque the 160ps 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine is 8kg lighter than the outgoing MX-5 RHT’s MZR 2.0-litre engine. It also delivers more torque, quicker acceleration and far better fuel economy. As with the 1.5-litre engine, the 2.0-litre features lighter and more compact intake and exhaust systems, a dedicated lightweight flywheel, plus a lighter crankshaft and pistons. Both engines also feature an attractive and thin die-cast aluminium engine cover that weighs the same as a plastic cover but is visually reminiscent of early MX-5s.
Adapted for front engine, rear drive layout Mazda’s highly-praised SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual plays a huge part in the MX-5’s driver appeal. It maintains the same sporty 40mm shift stroke as previous MX-5’s, yet the SKYACTIV-MT is 7kg lighter than the six-speed unit in the Mk3 MX-5. The rear differential is lighter and smaller than the outgoing car, while clutch pedal weighting and movement has been honed for an even better driver experience. Even better, for the first time in this generation of MX-5, there’s the option of an automatic gearbox – matched to the 2.0-litre 160ps Sport Nav, the six-speed auto features direct shifting with lock-up control from third, plus has a Drive Selection switch for sportier shifts at the touch of a button.
All versions of the MX-5 feature a space-saving duel-pinion electric power assist steering system designed to deliver direct feedback and feel, Mazda’s engineers placed the steering system closer to the front wheels and ensured stiffness below the steering column with the overall result being lighter, faster and more precise steering. Fine tuning of the steering set up specifically for the RF ensures that linearity and feedback has been refined to match the unique dynamic feel and balance of the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF.
Colours and options
The all-new Mazda MX-5 RF is available in a choice of seven colours – Artic White Solid, Blue Reflex Mica, Ceramic Metallic, Crystal White Pearlescent, Jet Black Mica, Soul Red Metallic, and exclusive to the RF, Machine Grey Metallic. Mica, Metallic and Pearlescent paint costs £550, while for £670 signature Soul Red and Machine Grey Metallic paints feature 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. Available on 160ps Sport Nav models, the £400 Safety Pack includes High Beam Control and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Proportions and boot
Aside from a 5mm increase in overall height, the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF maintains the balanced proportions and award-winning KODO: Soul of Motion design of the MX-5 convertible. Yet thanks to its power retractable hardtop and distinctive fastback style it is instantly discernable from the convertible. With unique looks roof up and down, the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF is new take on the 2016 World Car Design of the Year winning fourth-generation MX-5. Thanks to its exceptionally clever roof mechanism the all-new Mazda MX-5 RF’s 127-litre boot ensures there is no luggage space compromise compared to the convertible.
The unique three-piece fully automated roof is operated at the touch of a button and is one of the fastest retractable hardtops on the market – opening or closing in just 13 seconds even when moving at speeds up to 6mph. The front and middle sections disappear along with the rear window glass while the fastback buttresses return to their external position to deliver a unique roof down style profile and look. To reduce weight the roof is made of three different materials – aluminium for the front section, steel for the middle and sheet moulding compound (SMC) plastic for the rear unit. The black garnish trims that extend the door window lines into the buttresses are made of bioengineered plastic and do not require painting.