2016 New York Preview: Mazda surprises and reveals a Miata with a retractable hardtop

With the last generation, Mazda took a huge leap of faith and introduced their legendary Miata with a retractable hardtop, which Miata enthusiasts deplored for the most part because it made the car heavy. This is all relative though, having driven the last generation Miata, it was still an absolute hoot to drive. But it did weigh nearly 300lbs more, which is a whale for a Miata and that made a huge difference for some.

That’s because the Miata without the retractable top was a much better Miata in Miata owners eyes. I personally had no problem with it, but I’m sure the soft top car drove better.

Despite the controversy of the last model, Mazda went ahead and made another one to give customers more options as the hardtop Miata did sell. This one’s a little different though. Say hello to the 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 RF, for “retractable fastback.”

When one retracts the roof on the MX-5 RF, the car’s C-Pillars together as once piece with the rear-window lift up to hide the hard thing in between, similarly to the Porsche 911 Targa, and once the roof is down, the car’s C-Pillars are still up. So the result is a targa-like experience that can happen in a matter of seconds at speeds of up to six MPH. And I think it’s pretty damn sweet.

Full specifications have yet to be released, but Mazda did say power will be provided by the same 1.5L and 2.0L SKYACTIV four-bangers with the choice of a manual or automatic. But given how the retractable hardtop is likely to have added weight, the 2.0L engine will be the only one worth it.

Stay tuned for more from the floor of the Javits Center.

– By: Chris Chin

Chris Chin

Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech Freelance Automotive Journalist / Editor / Photographer

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