2019 Mazda MX-5 RF Arrives With More Powerful Engine, Priced From $33,335

Mazda has announced the pricing and range details of the updated 2019 MX-5 RF, which goes on sale later this August.

Just like its soft-top sibling, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF benefits from a more powerful and efficient 2.0-liter engine, as well as smaller revisions aiming to make it even better.

The biggest highlight is of course the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G engine, which now produces 181hp at 7,000rpm (26hp more than before) and 151lb-ft (204Nm) of torque at 4,000rpm. Mazda claims that the updated powerplant now offers a richer torque curve throughout the rev range, with the redline also raised from the previous 6,800rpm to 7,500rpm.

Mazda’s measures for the upgraded engine included lighter pistons and connecting rods, improving the combustion with reconfigured intake ports and higher-pressure fuel injectors, as well as reducing exhaust loss and adding a dual-mass flywheel. There’s also a new final drive ratio, which has been increased from 3.454 to 3.583 for models fitted with the automatic transmission.

The range of updates also includes a new tilt/telescoping steering column, a standard rear-view camera and optional Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart City Brake Support. The steering column itself is now made out of aluminum, instead of steel, in order to further save weight.

The range of the 2019 MX-5 RF is still divided between the Grand Touring and the more hard-edged Club versions.  Grand Touring models come with 17-inch dark silver wheels; rain-sensing windshield wipers; heated, leather-trimmed seats; a 9-speaker BOSE Premium audio system; a fabric-lined soft top for greater sound insulation; Sirius XM Satellite radio with a 4-month trial subscription, Mazda Navigation; Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert; new Traffic Sign Recognition; Lane-Departure Warning; and Smart City Brake Support, among others.

New to the range is the GT-S package for manual MX-5 RF Grand Touring models, which adds things like a front shock tower brace, a limited-slip differential, Bilstein dampers and a hand-painted black roof.

The more hardcore Club models come with Bilstein dampers, shock tower brace and a limited-slip differential as standard. The cabin is equipped with heated cloth seats featuring red contrast stitching; black 17-unch alloy wheels; front air dam and rear lip spoilers; a 9-speaked BOSE Premium audio system, and more.

Mazda will offer to MX-5 RF Club models the option of a Brembo/BBS package and the option of a Brembo/BBS/Recaro package. The first one adds front Brembo rotors and calipers; 17-inch dark gunmetal BBS forged alloy wheels; side sill extensions; a rear bumper skirt; and heated leather seats. The second pack replaces the leather seats with heated Recaro buckets.

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  • Six_Tymes

    All these 2019 upgrades makes me want to go buy one, except when it comes to the “from” price. +++ it suddenly becomes over priced.

    • Earl Scheib

      I agree…. nice car, but price is getting a bit out of control.

      • Mill0048

        It’s not a “huge accomplishment”, but a 17% power increase on an NA engine without increasing displacement or resorting to forced induction is pretty respectable.

        • Earl Scheib

          Normally yes, but its power level is only NOW equal to most other 4 banger in this class. I mean, it was at 155 hp in 2018… certainly not impressive.

        • SteersUright

          Absolutely right! The 2.0 flat-4 in the Toyobaru twins has made 200+ hp for years. These are not impressive numbers when considering hp/liter. That said, any power bump is welcomed in a sports car, particularly the Miata.

  • Nordschleife

    All of that and still no official mention of CarPlay.

    • Able

      Strange that Mazda USA haven’t announced it yet. The first models to get it here in Australia are the updated CX-3, CX-9 and MX-5, which land September/October.

  • ErnieB

    And why would anyone in the US get this over a mustang gt?

    • Earl Scheib

      Agree 100%!

    • Belakor

      Because its fun. But I suppose 99% of US roads arent made for it so I would probably get that ‘Stang if I lived in the US too.

    • Mill0048


    • SteersUright

      Apples and Oranges. One offers up a delicate, feelsome, agile and arguably more true sports car experience. The other offers up more power and well, thats about it. The Mustang is far more akin to a powerful sports sedan than a proper sports car including the very capable GT350.

  • SteersUright

    Love this car…but that price! I dont get their strategy. The ask for this ridiculous MSRP and then its quite easy to get $5k+ discount on any Miata. Why not just price accordingly?

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