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Mazda cashes in on Launch Edition MX-5 RF

Limited edition has unique combo of Grey exterior and Auburn interior

Published: October 3, 2016, 2:30 PM
Updated: October 7, 2016, 5:44 AM

Mazda MX-5 RF

Mazda MX-5 RF roof stowing

You’ve waited long enough for the “coupe” version of the Mazda MX-5 — the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Launch Edition is now available to order, with deliveries slated to begin early in the new year.

To refresh your mind, the MX-5 Miata RF is sort-of a coupe version of the world’s best-selling roadster. The RF stands for “retractable fastback” and it’s Mazda’s take on the Targa bodystyle, where a roof panel is removed to open up a coupe’s cabin, only in this case it’s all done electrically at the push of a button and the panels behind the cabin lift to allow the roof to stow away, and then replace themselves.

The neat part is that it creates a unique profile and retains the trunk space of the soft-top MX-5, whereas hard-top convertibles usually lose a bit of trunk space to the boot required for the top to stow itself in. The downside is that the car needs to be almost stopped in order for the operation to be carried out (it can only do it at under 10 km/h), whereas many of today’s convertibles, soft or hard tops, can do it at the push of a button at city speed limits.

So it’s a gimmick, but one that has its fans; and taking a page out of some premium car makers’ marketing manuals, Mazda decided to make a Launch Edition available to the roadster’s most ardent followers. The Launch Edition is limited to 1,000 units, and Mazda e-mailed select Miata owners to offer them first dibs on the cars. They had to respond by a certain date, with the remaining cars (fewer than 500, though Mazda has not released a number) available to the public at large.

Mazda MX-5 RF

And those cars are now available for pre-order at MX5RFPreorder.com. All you need is to put down a $500 refundable deposit and you’ll either end up with one of the limited edition models or you get your money back.

“The MX-5 RF Launch Edition has a personality all its own, and stays true to the legacy of pure driving pleasure,” said Robert Davis, senior VP, U.S. Operations for Mazda North America. “The preorder is a great opportunity for current and prospective customers to join us as we usher in a new era for the beloved roadster. This helps pave the way for when the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF makes its way to dealerships next spring.”

The Launch Edition will have the unique combination of Grey Metallic exterior and Auburn Nappa leather interior. The roof is hand-painted black and no other MX-5 RF sold in North America will have it or the Auburn leather interior. The only choice given to the buyer is a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission; the manual carries an MSRP of $33,850, while the automatic goes for $34,925.