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rating:

  • Overall: 5.0/5

Mazda MX-5 RF 30th Anniversary

Key Specs
USEU
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1998 cm3
Power
117.7(160)/6000 KW(hp)/RPM
Torque
147.5/4600 lb-ft/RPM
Fuel System
Direct Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Electrical motor power
-
Electrical motor torque
-
Total maximum power
-
Total maximum torque
-
Fuel capacity
11.9 gallons
Fuel capacity (optional)
-
Top Speed
134 mph
Acceleration 0-62 Mph
7.4 s
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
6-speed manual
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Discs
Tire Size
205/45 R17
Unladen Weight
2491 lbs
Gross Weight Limit
2877 lbs
Unladen Weight (2)
-
Gross Weight Limit (2)
-
Length
154.1 in
Width
68.3 in
Height
48.2 in
Front/rear Track
58.9/59.2 in
Wheelbase
90.9 in
Ground Clearance
4.7 in
Cargo Volume
4.6 cuFT
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.36
Aerodynamics (frontal area)
-
Turning circle
-
Turning circle (curb to curb)
-
Turning circle (wall to wall)
-
City
27 mpg
Highway
43.6 mpg
Combined
35.6 mpg
CO2 Emissions
154 g/km
Power pack
-
Nominal Capacity
-
Maximum Capacity
-
Charger type
-
Charging time (normal)
-
Charging time (quick)
-
Range
-
Low
-
CO2 Emissions (Low)
-
Medium
-
CO2 Emissions (Medium)
-
High
-
CO2 Emissions (High)
-
Extra high
-
CO2 Emissions (Extra high)
-
Combined
-
CO2 Emissions (Combined)
-
Cylinders
L4
Displacement
1998 cm3
Power
117.7(160)/6000 KW(hp)/RPM
Torque
200/4600 Nm/RPM
Fuel System
Direct Injection
Fuel
Gasoline
Electrical motor power
-
Electrical motor torque
-
Total maximum power
-
Total maximum torque
-
Fuel capacity
45.0 L
Fuel capacity (optional)
-
Top Speed
216 km/h
Acceleration 0-62 Mph
7.4 s
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
6-speed manual
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Discs
Tire Size
205/45 R17
Unladen Weight
1130 kg
Gross Weight Limit
1305 kg
Unladen Weight (2)
-
Gross Weight Limit (2)
-
Length
3914 mm
Width
1735 mm
Height
1224 mm
Front/rear Track
1,496/1,504 mm
Wheelbase
2309 mm
Ground Clearance
119 mm
Cargo Volume
130 L
Aerodynamics (Cd)
0.36
Aerodynamics (frontal area)
-
Turning circle
-
Turning circle (curb to curb)
-
Turning circle (wall to wall)
-
City
8.7 L/100Km
Highway
5.4 L/100Km
Combined
6.6 L/100Km
CO2 Emissions
154 g/km
Power pack
-
Nominal Capacity
-
Maximum Capacity
-
Charger type
-
Charging time (normal)
-
Charging time (quick)
-
Range
-
Low
-
CO2 Emissions (Low)
-
Medium
-
CO2 Emissions (Medium)
-
High
-
CO2 Emissions (High)
-
Extra high
-
CO2 Emissions (Extra high)
-
Combined
-
CO2 Emissions (Combined)
-
Car video reviews:
 

Driven: Mazda MX-5 RF 30th Anniversary

Amidst the most important political and economic affairs that took place in 1989, serendipity makes it that we can find a host of car-related events or launches of seminal models that would go on and influence the automotive industry for decades to come.
2019 Mazda MX-5 RF 30th Anniversary 91 photos
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Arguably the most influential sports car to be launched exactly thirty years ago, the Mazda MX-5, known in the U.S. as the Miata, is celebrating its 30th birthday with a very orange special edition.

Spoiler alert! Limited to just 3,000 units worldwide, of which 500 were allocated for the U.S. and 600 for the UK, the MX-5 30th Anniversary is simply the best MX-5 ever built, at least until the next generation comes along.

Keep in mind that the 3,000 units comprise both the classic soft-top and the RF retractable hardtop model, albeit Mazda didn't specify the proportions between them.

Considering that the U.S. models were sold out in four freaking hours and the rest are about to, I consider myself immensely lucky to have received the chance to drive a Retractable Fastback one, especially since the 30th Anniversary is not only packed with everything you can option on an MX-5 but also has a bunch of exclusive features.

First of all, you must really be a fan of the color, because Racing Orange is the only hue available for the model. If you are, good luck with that because you cannot choose it on the regular MX-5.

The visual arresting paint job was chosen because it apparently “evokes the anticipation of a sunrise,” symbolizing the 30th Anniversary as another milestone in the MX-5's continuing story. That may sound like a host of meaningless and/or pompous words for some people, especially those who still think that the MX-5 is a “hairdresser's car,” but it only takes a short drive in one to clear up any confusion. Plus, how many cars come in bright orange this side of a McLaren anyway?

Second of all, the model is also equipped with a set of Rays ZE40 RS30 forged aluminum wheels, orange brake calipers and orange accents on the Recaro seats, the door trim, dashboard and the tiny but ultra-precise gear lever.

Speaking of brake calipers, the front ones features Brembos, while the rear calipers are manufactured by Nissin, for some reason. Maybe Mazda only wanted a tiny bit of Italian flair on the car since the Hiroshima plant also builds the new Fiat 124 Spider, the MX-5 ND's twin.


Some of the other standard features aren't exclusive to the MX-5 Anniversary, but they surely do their best in transforming the small roadster in something that goes as fast as its Racing Orange color and grumpy face suggest, while the rest make the interior feel less claustrophobic.

I'm obviously talking about the Bilstein sports dampers in the first part, since they contribute immensely to the control of the car's body movement, especially compared with the much softer Koni dampers you can find on an entry-level MX-5. Inside, the 30th Anniversary is equipped with a Bose AudioPilot 2 sound system that has 9 speakers. I can't say how good or bad it sounds because I opted to listen exclusively to the engine rumble the entire drive.

With over 1 million cars sold throughout four generations and a profit margin higher than any other Mazda model, the MX-5 is also in the Guinness Book of Record as the most successful 2-seat convertible in history.


Just like its predecessors, the latest generation is a modern interpretation of the British and Italian lightweight roadsters of the 1960s, with the first Lotus Elan being a good place to start if you're looking for an origin story.

Powered by the re-worked 2.0-liter four-cylinder that you can also find under the long hood of a regular model, the MX-5 30th Anniversary never feels underpowered, but that doesn't mean you should start racing every hot-hatch you meet on the roads. Firstly, racing on public roads is illegal for a reason and secondly you will lose in a straight-line, especially against current hot hatches, which almost all come with 250+ horsepower and tons of turbocharged torque.

That said, the 6.8 seconds required for it to go from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in perfect conditions is by no means a long time, especially when you're required to shift gears yourself. An automatic transmission version is available but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. This is a car that you wear, not drive, like I've said so many times, and an automatic would diminish its character immensely.

With 184 horsepower and 205 Nm (151.2 lb-ft) it won't win many hp/liter contests but the 1,150 kg (2,535 pounds) weight and perfectly tuned chassis can make even a 131 horsepower engine feel punchy.

Since it's naturally aspirated, the go-fast pedal feels like it's directly connected to the engine throttle and every push with your right foot is instantly transformed into forward motion, a feeling long lost on every single hot-hatch that can smoke you at a traffic light. While obviously not as torquey as a turbocharged engine, there is plenty of oomph at lower rpm, especially compared to the 1.5-liter that's available in Europe and Japan on the MX-5.

The steering is weighed perfectly and despite being electrically assisted, you always feel where the front wheels are turning. The driving position is the same as in any other MX-5, smack dap in the middle of the car, despite sitting behind a giant engine hood. Speaking of which, the rather small 2.0-liter engine is positioned almost fully behind the front axle, creating a perfect 50:50 weight distribution that provides some of the best handling you can find on a sports car this side of a mid-engine Porsche Cayman or an Alfa Romeo 4C.

Jinba Ittai, the model's ethos since the first MX-5 NA went on sale, is probably represented best in a perfectly equipped ND model, which is what the MX-5 30th Anniversary manages to be. Sure, the serial number badging on the side may also contribute to the model's individuality for some people, but not for the ones who will be lucky enough to drive it. For the record, our tester was number 1682/3000.

 
 
 
 
 

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