2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF priced from $32,390

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The new RF version of Mazda’s MX-5 Miata goes on sale in early 2017, priced from $32,390.

That figure includes an $835 destination charge and is for the base model equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission. Opt for the available 6-speed automatic and you’ll need to front up an extra $730.

The RF, short for “Retractable Fastback,” is a new version of Mazda’s popular sports car that’s been designed to resemble a proper coupe when the roof is raised. The roof is a retractable hard-top that blends into two sexy pillars leading to the rear of the car.

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Those pillars lift away so the roof can stow beneath them. When the roof is down, the car features a targa-type design that doesn't allow for 100 percent open-air motoring, but combines access to the sky with a sexy profile.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF start of production - October 5, 2016

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF start of production - October 5, 2016

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Like all versions of the latest MX-5, the RF is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 delivering 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to hustle the lightweight two-seater from 0-60 mph in a little over 6.0 seconds. Bilstein suspension is standard and manual-equipped models also get a limited-slip differential.

Standard features for the cabin include a 4.6-inch screen in the instrument cluster, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the center stack, cloth seats with accent stitching, a 9-speaker Bose stereo, plus blind spot and rear cross traffic warning systems. Those looking for a little extra luxury can opt for a Grand Touring model. This adds heated leather seats and some extra electronic driving aids.

Mazda commenced production of the MX-5 Miata RF on Wednesday. Production is taking place at a plant outside of Hiroshima, Japan.

The first examples out are a special Launch Edition, of which just 1,000 are allocated for the United States. Pricing for this model starts at $34,675, also including destination.

 
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