Mazda goes back to the 70s with MX-5 retractable fastback

New hard-top the best-looking MX-5 yet and perfect for our weather conditions

Mazda MX-5 Retractable Fastback: comes in 1.5 or 2.0-litre engine options and with an optional automatic gearbox version

Mazda MX-5 Retractable Fastback: comes in 1.5 or 2.0-litre engine options and with an optional automatic gearbox version

 

When someone says they are going to blow the lid off in New York, you assume that they are either talking about a major party at the Waldorf or possibly a Bruce Willis action movie.

In Mazda’s case it turned out to be neither but instead a little trip down an interestingly retro route.

This is the MX-5 Retractable Fastback and it is the replacement for the old MX-5 Roadster-Coupe. That car used what was basically a plastic version of the standard MX-5’s cloth roof – the harder shell apparently made it more appealing to those of us living in wet, windy climes and it quickly became the best-selling version of the MX-5.

This time around, the hardtop MX-5 is going to be very different. Boasting a roof system that bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Porsche’s 911 Targa, the oh-so-1970s MX-5 Retractable Fastback is the first true MX-5 coupe and possibly the best-looking version of the MX-5 we have yet seen.

As with the Porsche, the whole back end of the car lifts up, in the manner of a gentleman raising his hat to a lady, to allow the central panel of the roof to slide aft. Mazda says you can do that at speeds of up to 10km/h (debatably useful) and that it does not impinge on boot space – you get the same 130 litres as the cloth-top version.

You also get the same 1.5 or 2.0-litre engines but the RF has another trick up its sleeve in the shape of an optional automatic gearbox, the first version of the current MX-5 to be offered with one.

We do not have any other technical details yet, although doubtless the RF will be heavier and a little slower than the standard MX-5. We also do not know if large sunglasses, a gold medallion and a chest-wig will be standard equipment for drivers but we can hope that this will be so.