Mazda MX-5 RFMazda has revealed an alluring targa-top new MX-5 RF ‘Retractible Fastback’ hard-top variant on the eve of the 2016 New York Auto Show, wowing onlookers with its unexpected take on a second-generation folding hard-top MX-5.

Replacing the previous MX-5 RC, a model that in the UK accounted for the vast majority of sales, the new MX-5 RF is a much more unique proposition than its similar-to-the-roadster predecessor.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Its key feature is a new fastback-style rear end, with voluminous flying buttresses and a fixed glass rear window. The hard-top roof sits above the occupants and, because the rear deck is retractible, can be electronically stowed above the load bay – with no loss of luggage space.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

The whole operation is swift and can be conducted at speeds of up to jogging pace: ideal for when the traffic lights turn green.

Mazda’s pitching the MX-5 as a more mature alternative to the racy roadster: as such, the likely-more-refined interior will be boosted by premium trims and upmarket spec levels. Mazda will, unlike the soft-top, also offer the RF with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Both 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines will be available.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Mazda’s even developed some expensive-looking new colours for the MX-5 RF, including a three-coat Machine Grey finish that uses the same advanced paint techniques as the Soul Red colour.

The firm revealed the MX-5 RF at an event ahead of first press day for NYIAS 2016: Mazda’s press event is actually on the second day (24 March): Motoring Research will be there and bring you more news on the wonderful-looking new fastback MX-5.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

In the meantime, share your thoughts with us – and let us know what you’d like us to find out when the car’s revealed in New York.