The two-seater Mazda MX-5 RF has won yet again in the annual C! Awards as the very best sportscar for our Philippine market. Certainly, there are much faster and even better performing cars available, however, for the money, packaging, precision, character, focus, and balance; it is peerless. The intimate emotional connection to the Mazda MX-5 is instant, undeniable, and relentless.
It will however be meeting considerably more formidable direct opposition soon with the incoming all-new paired 228 bhp 2.4-liter 2+2 Boxers coupés from Toyota and Subaru (all-new GR 86 and BRZ) though the Mazda will still have the unique advantage of offering a soft-top roadster or the complex retractable hardtop fastback with outstanding standard kit.
In celebration of the Mazda MX-5’s sequential C! Award success, the longest of any manufacturer model series in Philippine automotive history, we present here the most coveted variant ever sold domestically, the limited 30th Anniversary Mazda MX-5 RF, specifically unit number 3,000 out of the 3,000 world production which so happens to appropriately be the personal corporate unit of Mazda Philippines’ beloved president Steven Tan. Only 30 extremely fortunate customers took domestic delivery in our market.
Mazda Miata (MX-5) hardcore purists may not have embraced the new fastback RF (retractable hardtop) version of their beloved affordable soft-top sports car, but I absolutely prefer it despite the substantial weight gain. The MX-5 is still the very best-selling roadster of all time for good measure after four generations.
The MX-5 RF is very polished and complete in its standard form but the special edition model has a few more unique features to distinguish in from the stable. The RF is almost imperceptibly less visceral than the standard roadster but it feels tighter, more balanced, and more refined. The weight distribution is now an almost perfect 51/49 compared to the soft-top’s 53/47, making the Targa-esque RF a more planted and predictable sports car, so there is more to the lovely design lines of the fastback. True there is more weight, but it is spread out more evenly while sound insulation and acoustics are also better in the cabin which benefits the 203-watt 9-speaker Bose® audio system not to mention the better sense of security. Since the domestic RF’s are mostly sold locally with automatic transmissions with a minimal weight increase of 16 kg over the manuals, they do not get the extra benefits of a mechanical rear Limited Slip Differential, Bilstein® dampers, and the odd induction sound enhancer.
To fully love the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition, you better love the color orange because it has an abundance of it that includes accents on the doors, the dashboard, the front and rear brake calipers, the air vents, steering wheel, e-brake, and the shifter, to the piping and stitching of the Alcantara-trimmed Nappa leather Recaro seats! The unique Racing Orange paint with piano-black side mirrors, was developed specifically for the 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5. Beyond the blistering new color, the special edition model comes with 4-pot aluminum Brembo® front and Nissin single-slider rear brake calipers squeezing the unique 11-inch vented discs up front and standard solid 11-inch discs at the rear, bespoke forged 17 x 7J Rays® ZE40 alloys wrapped with 205/45R17 84W Bridgestone Potenza S001 tires, additional Alcantara trim applied to the door panels and the dashboard and a special badge located on the driver’s-side quarter-panel ahead of the rear wheel. The special edition is based on the Club trim variant so it already has the optimized performance and creature comforts too to help account for the extra P300,000.00 premium.
In the end, the Mazda MX-5 RF is brilliant whichever variant you choose, heck save even more money and feel even more drama with the roadster too. Mazda has set the bar and completely defines attainable premium driving enjoyment.
|Cylinder Head||dohc 16V|
|Fuel Injector||Direct Injection, VVT, Atkinson-capable|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||181 bhp @ 7000 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||151 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm|
|Top Speed||227 km/h (142 mph)|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||6.2 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||26 mpg City / 35 mpg Highway|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||PhP 2,990,000.00|
|What's Great||Only 30 official special edition units sold, build quality, standard models just as fabulous, 7500 rpm redline, sport driving purity, and packaging.|
|What's Not So||Sold Out!|
|C! Editors Rating||10/10|