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Mazda MX-5

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Metal-top MX-5: Mazda plans folding hardtop model for 2006 JULIAN RENDELL Posted Date: 11/9/05 Mazda will launch a metal folding hardtop version of the MX-5 in September 2006, featuring a three-piece folding roof grafted onto the bodywork of Mazda’s two-seat roadster. Developed in-house by Mazda rather than by an outside coachworks, and likely to be badged MX-5 Hardtop, the new model is targeted at buyers of the growing numbers of coupe-convertible models. The sales growth in that segment left MX-5 with a smaller share of the overall market compared with when the Miata was launched 15 years ago. Apart from the new roof and its mechanism, the MX-5 fundamentally remains unchanged. The Hardtop will ride on the same wheelbase, have the same size cabin and feature the same rear overhang. The extra bulk of the metal folding roof will likely eliminate much of the car’s trunk space when folded down. The mechanism is sure to add weight compared to the manual folding soft-top, but the amount is unknown. Such drawbacks are likely to be ignored by many buyers attracted by the metal roof’s greater resistance to vandalism, sense of security and refinement at cruising speeds. Look for the Hardtop to add $2,000 to $3,000 to the MX-5’s sticker price.

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