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Mazda MX-5 range to offer hard, soft options

By Toby Hagon, 31 Jan 2015 News

Mazda MX-5 range to offer hard, soft options

Drop-top roadster to branch out with hard-top convertible.

MAZDA is readying a hard-top convertible for its soon-to-arrive fourth generation MX-5.

To complement the soft-top that takes the new model back to its 25-year-old roadster roots, the new retractable hard-top would also fold electronically and be sold alongside the soft-top.

Speaking at the media launch of the new MX-5, which is due to arrive in Australia during the third quarter of 2015, program manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto confirmed the alternative roof design was being worked on and would complement the soft-top.

“This [the new MX-5] is going to have a very long life cycle, so within that we are also looking at a hard-top,” said Yamamoto.

He all but confirmed it would be button operated for easier electric operation.

“The current model is also electric hard-top, so yes we are investigating that,” he said.

The outgoing NC model MX-5 was the first to be offered with a folding hard-top, something that added to the appeal of the vehicle throughout its life – a life that was extended as Mazda battled with financial hardship and the challenges of the global financial crisis that hit car makers hard in 2008-09.

By the end of the soon-to-be-discontinued MX-5’s model life, the hard-top replaced the soft-top as the only roof option.

However, Yamamoto said there were no plans to produce a coupe version – with a fixed metal roof – of the MX-5.

“MX-5 is an open-top car … it has to open,” he said.