Targa top

The Mazda MX-5 RF, or 'Retractable Fastback', reminds me of the Porsche 911 Targa, first introduced in 1966 – with a removable roof section that included a full-width roll bar behind the seats.

The rear window is usually fixed in a Targa style car, but it is removable or foldable on some Targa models, making it a convertible style vehicle. The Targa top became popular through the '60s and '70s when fears that the Department of Transport in the US would ban convertible cars.

Porsche trademarked the Targa name, and the convertible car survived in many different forms, including a retractable hardtop that Mazda introduced to the MX-5 in the NC model in 2007.

In developing the MX-5 RF, Mazda couldn't use the Targa name to describe their new hardtop model because of the trademark issue. The new Targa-style folding hardtop created by Mazda was dubbed the 'Retractable Fastback'. With the roof closed, the RF is a stylish coupe. When the hardtop roof is retracted, you can experience an enjoyable wind in your hair drive.

Today, Porsche still offers a Porsche 911 Targa 4, with a starting price in Australia at around $235,000. So, it begs the question, at a quarter of the cost of a Porsche 911 Targa 4, is the Mazda MX-5 RF the Targa-top car to buy? 

With its lightweight, rear-wheel-drive layout, the Mazda MX-5 RF remains light on its feet and connected to the road. Though it's not the most powerful car on the road, it still is the best value Targa-top car on the road today.

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