RF stands for "Retractable Hardtop."
The top retracts in 12 seconds flat, one of the quicker such times in the industry.
The front sheetmetal on the Miata MX-5 RF is understandably unchanged from its soft-top brethren.
The fastback treatment lends the MX-5 RF a coupe-like profile.
For the fourth-generation Miata, Mazda adopted a much more aggressive and less cutesy front end.
Despite its compact proportions, the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF has a long hood to emphasize its rear-wheel-drive nature.
Rear three-quarter visibility is likely to be an issue with the RF, but the standard Miata does offer blind-spot assist technology, and it's reasonable to expect it here.
The small rear window power retracts without impinging on interior or cargo space.
You can see the panel cut lines on the RF's blacked-out roof, but they're a lot subtler than most retractable hardtop convertibles.
Underneath that hood beats Mazda's Skyactiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, good for 155 horsepower.
LED headlamps are standard on the ND Miata -- they're brighter, physically lighter and more compact than standard halogen lights.
The Miata MX-5 RF will likely continue to be available in a range of trims, including Club and Grand Touring.
This particular model is a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, but the manual transmission will likely be more fun.
Dubbed Machine Gray, this new paint color does a nice job of looking sinister while showing off the Miata's body lines.
The real question is, will this car feel like a true convertible underway, or more like a targa or a car with a large sunroof?
The addition of the rear buttresses will likely serve to reduce cabin wind turbulence.
This Miata is shod with Bridgestone Potenza rubber.
The soft-top Miata's tail lamp design makes it over to the RF, too. It's one of the car's most unique and controversial styling elements.
A pair of simple, unadorned tailpipes sits underneath the rear fascia.
The RF's fastback roofline almost imbues it with a certain Pontiac Solstice Coupe-like quality from some angles.
The new mechanism for the retractable lid weighs about 110 pounds. That's more than the power folding hardtop in the previous-generation model.
The flying buttresses help give the car more visual directional thrust than a more conventional hard top.
A power folding hardtop was a very popular body style with the last-generation Miata, and the RF will likely prove no different.
Pricing has not yet been released for the RF, but expect it to be available largely in upper trim levels, at a cost premium over the current soft top model.
This Machine Gray paint will likely be a cost option. It's the result of a time-intensive three-coat process including color, reflective and clear coats.
This new contrasting interior leather looks great.
The Miata's seats are a unique thin-back design to maximize interior space and minimize weight.
From this view, the RF might as well be a conventional soft-top Miata.
Note the way the exterior paint finish is brought into the interior on the door panels.
It's always easier to get into a convertible with the top down.
Note the blacked-out portion of the flying buttresses, designed to visually trick the eye into thinking the side window line extends further than it does.
The trunk lid raises vertically to swallow the roof.
The roof mechanism can be actuated on the move, but only just -- 6 mph is the maximum speed.