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The Mazda MX-5 RF Is The Affordable Roadster Porsche Will Never Build

Sports Car

Or Jaguar, for that matter.

We were stunned when Mazda revealed its new 2017 MX-5 Miata RF at New York last March. No one saw it coming and whether it was on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed or Pebble Beach, people took notice. It held its own, looks wise, amongst some of the most beautiful cars on the planet. And it’s the subject of our latest review after Mazda gave us an exclusive preview at Pebble Beach.

Instead of simply going with the familiar retractable hardtop a la the previous third generation MX-5, Mazda had the guts to try something new. If only all automakers shared that mentality. This fastback hardtop styling immediately reminds us of the Jaguar F-Type Coupe and that, of course, is a very good thing.

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Aside from the roof, the rest of the MX-5 RF is nearly identical to that of the standard soft top, but there are a couple of upgrades. The price? At the moment, Mazda hasn’t released official figures but we think around $34,000 sounds about right. That’s still a killer bargain, especially given the F-Type Coupe begins at $61,000. And, to be clear, the MX-5 RF is not by any means a real competitor to the F-Type, specifically regarding performance. But like any MX-5, the MX-5 RF is that wonderful back-to-basics and affordable sports car the world so desperately needs.