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The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF

The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF debuted at the 2016 New York Auto Show, showcasing a more upscale side of the popular roadster. The “retractable fastback” adds premium details inside and out to form a distinctive look. Expected to go on sale in spring next year, the Miata RF hasn’t yet been officially priced . Before a Miata RF show car was shipped back to Japan, we took a closer look at the car—here are five of the coolest things we learned.

Trunk Space

2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF trunk

The hard top doesn’t take up any extra trunk space compared to the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, which offers 4.6 cubic feet of trunk space. The Miata RF’s hard top folds into the same space as the soft top, so consumers won’t need to sacrifice any more space when considering the RF model against the standard car.

Hard-Top Design

2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF rear side view

The hard top’s design doesn’t disrupt the side profile or jut from the rear fender. During the design process, Mazda placed the shut lines of the retractable top above the crease line. Thanks to a combination of engineering and design, the Miata RF achieves that coupe-like appearance without dramatically affecting the overall look of the car.

New Display

2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF interior from above

The Miata RF features a unique 4.6-inch color display next to its instrument cluster. The softtop offers up a black and white display that shows the temperature, fuel level, and trip computer, but the RF’s TFT display will also feature vehicle graphics, such as when the roof is opening or closing. The hardtop will also get exclusive Nappa leather, while the softtop will only offer regular leather on its Grand Touring model.

Driving Position

2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF on stage interior with door open

Drivers and passengers might find the Miata’s cabin more accommodating, as the RF does without a seat height adjuster and has a tad more room for taller drivers. Removing this feature saved a bit of weight on the Miata RF, which is 80-100 pounds heavier than the soft top.

Fastest Retractable Hard Top

2017 Mazda MX 5 Miata RF rear three quarter 05

The Miata RF has the fastest retractable hardtop in the industry. In just 12.5 seconds, the new RF’s top goes from fully closed to fully opened, and can do this at speeds up to 6 mph. The hardtop utilizes the same motor found in the third-gen model’s hardtop, but has been tweaked to offer faster opening and closing times.

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