Last week, the latest generation of retractable hardtop Miata was the star of the show at New York as it managed to win two awards World Car of the Year and World Design of the Year in just one night.
Miata RF, “Retractable Fastback”, stunned audience with an ingenious way of folding its roof. Apparently, the new vehicle drew inspiration from Ferrari 599 with its rear window that gets lowered along with the hardtop, but it also has an appearance of a high-class supercar such as McLaren 650S.
The car maker announced that the hard top version’s trunk would stay the same as in the soft top model. Yet, the latest model would weight an extra 100 lbs due to the complicated system of the hard rooftop, which is now placed a bit higher than the soft top.
The extra load will definitely lift the center of gravity of the roadster, though it doesn’t seem too much over Miata’s overall weight of 2,332 lb.
Unlike other Japanese auto makers, Mazda focuses first on looks just like Italian sports car manufacturers do. Julien Montousse, the company’s design director for North America, said in a recent interview that the team had always dreamed of doing the RF.
Montousse explained that designers first ‘shoot for the moon’ with their projects and expect engineers to make it happen. This is how Mazda’s unique and astounding looks have been perfected over the years so that customers remain connected with their favorite car brand.
The Miata RF was designed using “reflection based surfacing,” i.e. the vehicles draw attention by reflecting back the car’s surrounding rather than showcasing edge detail. Montousse noted that a well-designed car is usually based on proportion, so expect ‘highly graphic’ vehicles to try and hide something.
“Sometimes the strongest expression is not the loudest voice in the room.”
Montousse also said that the new model was especially designed to win fastback enthusiasts’ hearts. In order to achieve this goal, the team reportedly worked three months on the car’s buttress C-pillars alone, which by the way no longer change position when the roof is retracted.
The company wouldn’t disclose an official release date or pricing but expect for the roadster to land in showrooms late this year or early 2017.
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