MAZDA has revealed a dramatically sleek ‘retractable fastback’ (RF) styling for the new Mazda MX-5 RF given its world premiere on the eve of the New York International Auto Show.
Due to go on sale in Europe next year, the latest version of the legendary sports car offers a new dimension of open-top driving fun while staying true to the purpose of Mazda’s previous retractable hardtop MX-5: Making the roadster experience accessible to a broader range of drivers.
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.
The power roof opens and closes with the press of a button while moving at sedate speeds of up to 10km/h. The roof itself stows away compactly and efficiently.
In fact despite the sleek design, the MX-5 RF offers the same boot space as the soft-top model, unlike most folding hardtops.
Also like the soft-top, the new version will be available in Europe with a choice of two revvy petrol engines – the Skyactiv-G 1.5 and Skyactiv-G 2.0 – mated either to a delightfully crisp shifting six-speed Skyactiv-MT gearbox or, exclusively for this new MX-5 RF, a six-speed automatic.
Another highlight of the MX-5 RF is the selection of body colours. They include Machine Grey, a new premium colour specially designed to accentuate the subtle yet dynamic surfaces of Mazda’s KODO – Soul of Motion exteriors.
Special paint looks like solid steel
Developed in the belief that colour is one of the elements of form, Machine Grey expresses the beauty of a machine’s strength and precision. By intensifying the contrast between light and shadow with a sleek, high-density finish, it gives the impression that the vehicle’s body was sculpted from a solid block of steel.
Paint application is crucial: Mazda progressed its Takuminuri painting technology originally created for Soul Red, Mazda’s first premium colour, to achieve a precise, high-quality finish that looks as if it were hand-painted by a master craftsman.
The system uses a three-coat paint structure 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. Jet black pigment, meanwhile, is used in both reflective and colour layers.
It is visible through the spaces between the aluminium flakes, giving them a black hue and thus heightening the contrast. Machine Grey will be available on a range of Mazda models, including the all-new Mazda CX-9.
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