Bermaz Motor, local distributors for Mazda vehicles, have announced the arrival of the updated MX-5 RF for the 2022 model year.
The latest version of the famous roadster, albeit in Retractable Fastback flavour, has been given a minor spec bump and will start from RM264,029 for the variant with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Opting for a 6-speed automatic version of what is an otherwise identical car, will cost RM265,964 - or an additional RM1,935. Mind you, this is factoring in the ongoing 50% SST discount for new fully imported cars.
Also worth noting is that it's now RM21k pricier than when it was first launched in Malaysia around this time in 2017. In terms of specific changes coming for 2022, there honestly isn’t much to speak of. Then again, why fix what wasn’t broken.
Visually, they’re indistinguishable from its previous update, bearing the 17-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, and folding metal roof that defined it before. Inside, the cozy cockpit is accessed via keyless entry (and start) and features leather upholstery, cruise control, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that uses the older MZD Connect interface, unfortunately.
Its main highlight is the addition of Kinematic Posture Control (KPC). Ignoring the name that sounds like it was invented by chiropractors, it’s a feature that Mazda first brought to light in late 2021 that is essentially an evolution of the G-Vectoring Control Plus technology that seeks to improve handling and dynamic responsiveness.
Unlike GVC+, however, it’s better suited to enhance more spirited driving and inputs, hence its presence in the MX-5. This is achieved through applying light braking force on the inner rear wheel in high-G situations to keep body roll in check and deliver a more uniform steering feel.
The main advantage with this is the ability to do without the stiffer suspension components - springs, shocks, anti-roll bars - while reaping identical or very similar improvements without compromising ride comfort or refinement.
Honestly, besides this, the spec sheet for this RF (2022) reads exactly like the car that preceded it - unless we’re missing something.
The car continues to be powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol that outputs 181hp @ 7,000rpm and 205Nm of torque @ 4,000rpm which, for a car that has a kerb weight of just 1,111kg (manual), is a pretty generous helping.
We’ve not encountered any pain points with this same unit in other Mazda models but they’ve fitted it with idle stop-start and their i-ELOOP brake-energy recovery system to further improve fuel economy.
Mazda has also given the MX-5 RF Smart City Brake Support (SCBS, also known as AEB, front and rear), Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, and Driver Attention Alert to go along with its more passive safety kit such as 6 airbags and anti-lock brakes.
Just as before, exterior colour options include:
The 2022 Mazda MX-5 RF will also come with a 5-year or 100,000km manufacturer’s warranty with 5 years (or 100,000km) free maintenance.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.