The mechanism is even more impressive when you see how it works.
The system first unlatches the roof from the top of the windshield. The mechanism then raises the fastback panel and shifts it rearward. While the piece moves out the way, the top begins the origami-like fold that stows the roof in the vehicle. Everything then moves back into place so that the occupants can enjoy open-air motoring. The process reminds us a little of the way the latest Porsche 911 Targa lifts the rear glass out of the way when hiding the roof.
Production of the Miata RF is already underway, but deliveries in the United States and Europe don’t begin until next year. When they do arrive, prices start at $31,555 in the U.S, and 22,195 pounds in the U.K. Americans only get the roadster with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that has 155 horsepower (115 kW) and 148 pound-feet (200 newton-meters) of torque, and there’s a choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic across the lineup. On the other side of the Atlantic, there’s also a 1.5-liter four-cylinder available with 129 hp (96 kW) and 111 lb-ft (150 Nm), but customers can only get the mill with the six-speed manual.
You can’t drive the RF yet, but early signs suggest it could be a hit for Mazda – at least in the U.S. The Launch Edition model sold out there in just a week. It was exclusively available to select Mazda owners for the seven days, and they ordered 500 of them. The rest went in just 13 hours when the company opened up the offer to the general public. The special version comes with a hand-painted black panel on the roof, a tri-coat Machine Gray Metallic body, and Auburn nappa leather upholstery. They also have all the Grand Touring trim’s amenities like heated seats and automatic climate control.