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Although it has been a while since Mazda brought us the new and improved MX-5, there is actually more of this famous roadster that Mazda is keeping away from us. And it is at the eve of the 2016 New York Motor Show that Mazda is raising the bar in the compact sports car segment by unveiling their new MX-5 RF.

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‘RF’ which stands for ‘Retractable Fastback’ gets a targa top mechanism with a removable middle section and a retractable rear window, which is different from the previous Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) that turns the car into a fully open roadster.

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Similar to the system used in Porsche’s latest 911 Targa, the whole operation only needs a touch of a button and takes 12 seconds at speeds of up to 10km/h. The rear section will lift up to store the middle part of the roof, stowing it away right behind the rear seats which is also where the back window slides down. This configuration allows the RF to have the same luggage space of 130 litres as the soft top model.

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Mazda will be offering the central roof panel to be finished in contrasting piano black finish or even in the same colour of the body. The RF also comes with a model-exclusive Machine Grey exterior paint, which Mazda describes as their first “premium colour” that “looks as if it were hand-painted by a master craftsman” using “a three-coat paint structure consisting of colour, reflective and clear coats”.

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The RF also features re-tuned suspension and steering system and the prices will be announced at its launch later this year.