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Mazda reveals MX-5 RF with retractable hardtop

Mazda has unveiled the MX-5 RF (“retractable fastback”) on the eve of the New York International Auto Show.

Featuring fastback styling with a smooth roofline that slopes down to the rear, the MX-5 RF’s unique rear roof and retractable back window deliver a ‘distinctive new convertible feeling’, says Mazda.

The power roof opens and closes with the press of a button while moving at speeds of up to 10km/h, stowing away compactly so the boot space is exactly the same as the soft-top model's.

Also like the soft-top, the new version will be available in Europe with a choice of two SKYACTIV-G petrol engines – the 1.5 and 2.0 – mated either to a six-speed manual gearbox or – exclusively for the MX-5 RF – a six-speed automatic.

Paint colours include a new premium ‘Machine Grey’ finish, specially designed to intensify the contrast between light and shadow in order to accentuate Mazda’s sculptural ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ exteriors.

The new colour, which will be available on a range of Mazda models, is applied using Mazda’s Takuminuri painting technology system – a three-coat structure consisting of colour, reflective and clear coats. The reflective layer, which contains extremely thin, high-brightness aluminium flakes, shrinks during the drying process to about one-quarter the thickness of most reflective layers. This causes the flakes to lie flat with regular spacing between each flake for a high-density finish that gives the entire surface a sheen when illuminated, and a genuine metallic look. Meanwhile, Jet black pigment is used in both the reflective and colour layers. It is visible through the spaces between the aluminium flakes, giving them a black hue and thus heightening the contrast.

The MX-5 RF is on display at the New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public from 25 March to 3 April.