A beloved sports car swap sits soft origins for a burst of heavy metal
Cook up this succulent dish from top chef John Collins.
Remember that body suit Cathy Freeman wore when she won gold at the Sydney Olympics? You’ ll have noticed, I’m sure, that it was made of a lightweight fabric and most definitely not forged of thick and heavy metal.
Weight is no friend of performance So clunking around the athletic track in a getup that would require a can-opener to get out of probably wouldn’ t have helped her medal chances one iota.
None of which seemed to bode well for the mazda M X -5 R F. Those two extra letters stand for Retractable Fast back, with Mazda’ s top-selling roadsters crapping the traditional lightweight fabric for an electric folding metal roof and fast back body style for the first time.
So it’s heavier, which means it’ s slower, right? Hmm mm .. a touch, maybe. But any fears the RF’S shiny new hat will compromise the MX-5’S legendary dynamics vanish the moment you fire it up.
The steering is still ridiculously direct, and the low-s lung seats and sport-tuned suspension still make you feel like you’ re directly connected to the road beneath your tyres. Most important, though, it still paints a Lotto-winning smile on your face when you happen across the right twisting road. The RF’ s 2.0- litre engine will fire118kw and 200 Nm toward the rear tyres–enough to see it clip 100km/h in 7.4 seconds compared to 7.1 seconds in the fabric-topped version.
All that extra metal doesn’ t come cheap: you can expect to pay $38,650 for the cheapest M X -5 R F–about $4 K more than the equivalent soft top. Still a bargain.