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2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Gets Much-Needed Power Upgrade (And Price Increase)

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How much more will the 2019 MX-5 Miata RF cost?

After updating the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata with a more powerful and efficient engine and new safety tech, it was only a matter of time before the retractable roof version received a similar update. Due to go on sale in August, the 2019 Mazda Miata RF is powered by a 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine, which now produces 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, representing an increase of 26 horsepower and 3 lb-ft of torque over the previous model.

Thanks to lighter pistons and rods and a larger throttle, Mazda says the 2019 Miata RF's engine produces more torque throughout its rev range and has a 700 rpm higher redline. The new powerplant can be paired either with a SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission as standard or an optional six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Sport mode.

Other updates include a new tilt/telescoping steering column made of aluminum to save further weight, a standard rear-view camera and optional Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart City Brake Support.

As always, the MX-5 RF is available in two flavors. The MX-5 Grand Touring comes equipped with 17-inch dark silver wheels; rain-sensing windshield wipers; automatic climate control; heated, leather-trimmed seats; a 9-speaker BOSE Premium audio system; a fabric-lined soft top for greater sound insulation; Sirius XM Satellite radio with a 4-month trial subscription, Mazda Navigation; Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert; new Traffic Sign Recognition; Adaptive Front-lighting System; High Beam Control; Lane-Departure Warning; and Smart City Brake Support, among other features.

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MX-5 Grand Touring models with the SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual transmission can also be equipped with a new GT-S Package, which adds a front shock tower brace, limited-slip rear differential, and Bilstein dampers, as well a hand-painted black roof that was previously only offered in the US on the 2017 MX-5 RF Launch Edition.

The more hardcore MX-5 Club comes with standard Bilstein dampers, shock tower brace and limited-slip rear differential in models equipped with the SKYACTIV-MT transmission. All other MX-5 Club models receive standard heated cloth seats with red contrast stitching, body-color interior trim; Metallic Black alloy 17-inch wheels, front air dam and rear lip spoilers, a 9-speaker BOSE Premium audio system, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with a 4-month trial subscription and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

For the MX-5 Club, Mazda is also offering an i-ACTIVSENSE Club Package for an additional $450 that comes with Smart City Brake Support and Lane-Departure Warning. MX-5 Club models equipped with the six-speed manual can also be upgraded with Mazda's Brembo/BBS Package or Brembo/BBS/Recaro Package. For an extra $3,770, the Brembo/BBS Package includes front Brembo rotors and calipers; red-painted brake calipers on all four corners; 17-inch, dark gunmetal BBS forged alloy wheels; functional side sill extensions; a rear bumper skirt; and heated leather-upholstered seats. Available for an extra $4,670, Brembo/BBS/Recaro Package is new for MX-5 RF and replaces the leather-trimmed seats with heated Recaro buckets. It also includes a black-painted roof.

Pricing for the MX-5 RF Grand Touring with the six-speed manual starts at $33,335, representing a $745 increase over the outgoing model, while the automatic version will set you back $34,410, which is $610 than last year's model. The manually-operated MX-5 Club starts at $32,345, which is $700 more than last year's model, whereas the automatic carries an MSRP of $32,945, representing a $645 increase.