• Jun 20th 2006 at 4:58PM
  • 37
Mazda MX-5 retractable roof
Another big introduction for next month's London International Motor Show has been announced!

Mazda will use the venue to debut its new MX-5 Miata with retractable hardtop. The addition of the hardtop transforms what was already one of the best three season roadsters ever into a legitimate year-round machine. No details have been released other than the brief announcement and the two photos included here.

Expect much more in the coming weeks as we get closer to the Miata hardtop's July 18 debut.

MX-5 outside

(Press release after the jump)

[Source: Mazda] Mazda to Exhibit New Mazda MX-5 with Power Retractable Hard Top at the British International Motor Show

Hiroshima, Japan, June 20, 2006. Mazda Motor Corporation will use the 2006 British International Motor Show for its global reveal of the new Mazda MX-5, now equipped with a power retractable hard top roof ** - and the regional debut of the Mazda BT-50 one-ton pickup truck.

The British International Motor Show will be held in London from Tuesday, July 18, through Sunday, July 30, 2006.

Featuring a new, unique power retractable hard top roof, this is an all-new addition to the third-generation Mazda MX-5 which has been celebrated globally since 2005.  This new Mazda MX-5 model provides a unified sense of driving exhilaration, ready to spread the fun of lightweight sports cars in diverse and distinct new ways.

"Jinba Ittai"-or 'rider and horse as one' is the essence of Mazda MX-5, the expression reflecting the emotional connection between a horse and rider. 

Mazda will also reveal its new one-ton truck, the Mazda BT-50, equipped with a powerful new 2.5- litre Direct Injection Turbo Diesel engine.  The British International Motor Show marks the European premiere of this diesel engine, which made its world debut at the Bangkok Motor Show last March. 
Along with these models, the Mazda Sassou and Mazda Kabura concept vehicles will also be exhibited.

Mazda will hold a press conference on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 11:45 a.m. (British Summer Time).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Great Job MAZDA

      Another reason why the Japanese are ahead of the curve.
      I will seriously consider buying this Miata, oops I mean MX-5. The hard top gives the added sense of security in crashes and bad weather, and hopefully it increases the regidity of the body.

      Hope that Mazda will not charge too much over the cloth top. (I guess between 1000-2000 is ok)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Awesome! Altho I need to see a pic with top fully down. Looks like instead of disappearing it becomes part of the back.

      I owned a 91 and own an 02 both with hardtop. Both white. Actually prefer the car with the hardtop on. Back window visibility doubles. And the car just looks cooler as a coup. Noise level reduced.

      Chick car bah. I've gotten many compliments from men...on the car.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Bottom line. You don't have to buy it the RHT it is an option. It is like people whining that Automatic transmission is available. Why does that even matter as long as the Manual is available.

      You have a concern if they stop making manual trannies available or they go RHT only.

      After I sold my Miata, I really thought it would be great if there were some decent affordable SLK like car someday. Now there is. Nothing to complain about here.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Wow. As long as they continue to offer the ragtop, I can't see this being anything but a good move for Mazda.

      I loved my ragtop '90, and I want a new one. Having moved from Texas (year-round convertible weather) to Oregon (not year-round convertible weather) this is a very, very interesting development.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The 3000GT definitely was the first modern hard-top convertible.

      But the Honda Del Sol (or more accurately the Civic CRX gen III as it was called in Japan) probably led to this. On the Japanese model, at a flip of a switch the top of the car would slide down off the roof into the trunk automatically. This predated the 3000GT Spyder and probably influenced it.

      The Volvo C70 had nothing to do with it, as the first gen was a softop (and a flop anyway). The 2nd gen is a hardtop and was only released very recently, after even the Pontiac G6 hard-top convertible.

      If this top really takes no space, it might be a revolution. But it depends on how the trunk looks. It's very likely Mazda just shrunk the trunk to make room for the hard top. Technically the roof wouldn't retract into the trunk, but it wouldn't be doing any favors by not doing so. The best case would be if the hardtop fits in the same space as the soft top. That would be very interesting.
      • 9 Years Ago
      About seven or eight months ago, while waiting for service on my wife's Mazda3, I was discussing the MX-5 with the sales manager at the dealership. He told me then that Mazda would be bringing out the retractable hard top.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Holy christ. What a LAME idea! I mean how tough is it to raise and lower the Miata ragtop. It takes 5 seconds from the driver's seat.

      Lazy American fatbodies. This appeals to the same idiots who buy an auto-trans Miata.

      The idea should be to lower the COG and lower the weight, not raise them for cripes sake.

      If you drive around with the top UP in a Miata you have absolutely NO CLUE WHATSOEVER! Get a Buick or get a life.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What a sweet little gadget! Love the operational pics, but what does it look like fully closed, and fully opened? More pics please before judgement.
      And, this is a coupe when the top is up, that's the whole idea, you get a coupe/hardtop 2 seater AND a convertible, duh!
      Ok, so the BMW-6 and the Jaguar convertible kept classic ragtops, but you have to admit this is a wonderful concept.
      I saw the Pontiac G6 convertible driving near Fenway Park in Kenmore Square, guy alone top down on a sunny day, and i was impressed by the classy, sporty design.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "And, this is a coupe when the top is up, that's the whole idea, you get a coupe/hardtop 2 seater AND a convertible, duh!"

      Does a hardtop convertible have the structural rigidity of a proper coupe? (genuine question). I do like hardtop convertibles better than ragtops generally, but I still prefer a good fastback or hatchback.
      • 9 Years Ago
      It has added very little weight to the car overall, an article I read earlier stated that it was only 30kg heavier than the soft top. Prices for Europe/UK will be announced when it's officially unveiled at the British Motor show, but they're expected to be around 10% more than the soft top.
      • 9 Years Ago
      hmm... interesting...

      the normal miata/mx-5 is such a no-compromise road-carving instrument, i wonder how the extra weight from the mechanics of the roof will affect the car's performance...
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Wonder what the weight and balance penalty will be with the HT."

      I doubt it will be much. The stock miata is slightly nose heavy so a little weight farther back from the hardtop will probably improve balance slightly.

      "Besides disappointing the purist in me, it seems odd that Mazda would go so far as dropping the "Miata" name to help get rid of the MX-5's "chick car" stigma, but then go ahead and sell this."

      Actually they dropped the Miata name because the only place they use it is in the US. It is the MX-5 in Europe and the Roadster in Asia. When they standardized their advertizing for the new Miata, they just used the MX-5.
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