Prior to the release of the Pontiac Solstice, Mazda had a virtual monopoly in the affordable roadster market. In fact, while the Miata may have had a “girl’s car” reputation among a good chunk of the public, the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive convertible could tear it up on the track and attack the cones with the best of them. Now Mazda has stepped it up a notch, and perhaps has its eyes set on undercutting the Mercedes SLK line, because the MX-5 (formerly known as the Miata in some circles) will soon be available with a retractable folding hard-top.
The MX-5 Roadster Coupe, despite swapping out the lightweight ragtop in favour of the heavier metal and plastic, only adds about 75 pounds to the mix. That’s a small price to pay for folks out there who don’t plan on prepping their roadsters for full race mode, rather using their Mazda drop tops for weekend “spirited” cruising. Best of all, while the top is down, you don’t lose the trunk space, because the compartment where the hard top is stored is separate from the trunk proper, unlike the Mercedes SLK.
No word on pricing just yet, but that information should become available at the British Motor Show next month.