Mazda has introduced the 2017 MX-5 RF, a retractable hard top version of the evergreen Miata sports convertible.
The RF stands for “retractable fastback.” Essentially, what we have here is the closest thing to an MX-5 coupe.
At the push of a button, the roof panel above the occupants automatically retracts at speeds of up to 6 mph (10 km/h), making the MX-5 RF more of a targa than a full-blown convertible.
Impressively, it offers the same trunk space as the regular MX-5, even when the top is down, thanks to some very clever packaging.
Complementing the nifty roof design is a new, specifically-designed three-coat paint called “Machine Grey”, one Mazda bills as a “premium color.”
The car is otherwise identical to the fourth-generation MX-5 and, in North America, is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels either by a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.
The Mazda MX-5 RF goes on sale in the second half of 2016. Expect it to carry a small premium over the MX-5.
New Corvette ZR1 Convertible Drops 755 Horses Like A Beast
The C7 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 has received a convertible version, and it’s just as bonkers as the coupe.
Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Corvette ZR1 Convertible is the first drop-top ZR1 since the ZR1 first launched in 1969.
It has the same mechanical bits as the ZR1 coupe, meaning power is provided by an LT5 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, delivered to the rear wheels via a choice of either a seven-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Of course, the addition of a retractable top results in a weight penalty (60 pounds, to be exact) that should impede overall performance a tad bit. Zero-to-60 mph (96 km/h) is expected to come in at less than three seconds, and the quarter mile in the high 10-second range. Top speed is approximately 212 mph (132 km/h).
Like the coupe, the Corvette ZR1 Convertible is available with the $2,995 ZTK Performance Package, which adds a large rear wing, front splitter, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and Magnetic Ride control suspension. It can produces up to 950 lbs of downforce.
The new, 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible starts at $123,995 in the United States, representing a $4,000 premium over the coupe.
If You Want New Honda S2000, Sign This Petition
Not long after Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said Honda may build a successor to the S2000 if enough people want it, someone has launched a petition on Change.org to have the discontinued roadster return.
Judging by his name, HondaPro Jason is clearly very passionate about Hondas, aptly titling his petition “Hey Honda Bring The S2000 Back.”
Honda’s CEO appeared open to the idea of a new S2000 in an interview with , specifically stating:
“I’ve already heard many voices expressing they’d like a next-generation S2000. Honda development engineers are quick to develop sporty cars if the requests are there.”
The original S2000 roadster was produced from 1999 until 2009. While there is no guarantee that the petition will result in anything, the Japanese automaker seems to have a finger close to the go-ahead trigger should there be a large enough demand for a new model.
Sign the if you want the Honda S2000 to make a return.
Porsche 718 Cayman, Boxster Get GTS Treatment, More Power
The Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman have received the GTS treatment, gaining a boost in power, a few styling modifications and upgraded interiors.
Porsche’s engineers retuned the 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engine to output 365 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, some15 more horsepower than 718 S editions of the two models and 35 horses more than the naturally-aspirated engine of the previous GTS models.
Peak torque is available across a wider band from 1,900 – 5,500 rpm with the manual transmission or up to 5,000 rpm with the PDK automatic. Both GTS models can launch from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).
Visually, the 718 Boxster GTS and 718 Cayman GTS receive several aesthetic tweaks that include a Sport Design front fascia, tinted headlights and taillights, black accents, black 20-inch wheels, and an upgraded exhaust system.
Lovers of Alcantara will appreciate the touches made to the interior, which has Alcantara-covered sport seats, steering wheel, center console and armrests. It also benefits from the Sport Chrono Package.
Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical rear differential lock and the Porsche Active Suspension Management, which lowers the body by ten millimeters, come standard.
The 2018 Porsche Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS go on sale in Spring 2018 with a starting price of $79,800 and $81,900, respectively, in the United States.