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Mazda MX-5 RF Debuts in New York

The Mazda MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) arrived at the New York International Auto Show as Press Days are underway. The sports car now provides an open-top experience, as Mazda aims to attract a wider pool of drivers.

Mazda created something quite different with the MX-5 RF, apparent in the fastback styling and body lines. The MX-5 RF’s rear roof and retractable back window deliver a true convertible feeling, unlike any Mazda we have seen prior.

The power roof opens and closes with a button and despite the design, still offers the same space as the soft-top. Also like the soft-top, the new version will be available in Europe with a choice of two engines: the SKYACTIV-G 1.5 and SKYACTIV-G 2.0, mated either to a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT or – exclusively for the MX-5 RF – a six-speed automatic.

Paint the Town

The paint is one of the most critical ingredients of the Mazda MX-5 RF. Machine Grey is a premium color, applied to highlight Mazda’s KODO, or “Soul of Motion” exteriors. Machine Grey is to embody both strength and beauty by intensifying the contrast between light and shadow with a sleek, high-density finish; it lends the impression of being sculpted from steel.

To achieve this, Mazda progressed its Takuminuri painting technology originally created for Soul Red, the automaker’s first premium color. The goal was to achieve a precise, high-quality finish that looks as if it were hand-painted by a detailed craftsman. The technology uses a three-coat paint structure consisting of color, 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 an illuminated look and genuine metallic feel. Jet black pigment, meanwhile, is used in both the reflective and color layers, visible through the spaces between the aluminium flakes. The black hue thus gives added depth to the overall contrast and appearance of the car.

Machine Grey will be available on a range of Mazdas, including the all-new CX-9 slated for North America this spring. In the meantime, the Mazda MX-5 RF is on display at the New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public on Friday, March 25th.

*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

Mazda MX-5 RF Gallery