An Airy New Interpretation of the Retractable Hardtop

Webasto transforms the Mazda MX-5 into an elegant retractable fastback

Stockdorf/Munich – July 17, 2017 – Two seats, open-air, sporty, purist. Over the past 27 years, this concept has convinced over a million buyers. Thus, the Mazda MX-5 is the best-selling roadster of all time. Webasto, the world market leader for convertible roofs, has had a share in this achievement since the car‘s third generation.

The current fourth generation MX-5 hit the road reinterpreted as a retractable fastback by Webasto. It gives even more expression to the model’s aspiration of sporty elegance, and at the same time improves its driving and riding comfort. And once again, it is an innovative new development that makes this iconic two-seater unique in the league of RHT roadsters.

The best of two systems
The convertible roof system for the retractable fastback developed exclusively for Mazda borrows visually from the concept of the Targa roofs, which have a removable center section. Unlike a traditional convertible, the rear window on the classic Targa roof is fixed. The new roof developed by Webasto combines the best of both systems: the center roof section and the rear window are retractable.

The RHT, which comes painted in the color of the car with its rear window set far back and almost vertical, has a significant impact on the design of the new Mazda sports car. The finn design buttresses are a distinctive and distinguishing feature. They give the car a dynamic appearance and on top of that, minimize wind noise. A new insulation that is an element of the roof system keeps most of the road noise outside where it belongs. That provides a lot of extra comfort over the RHT of the previous model, and the soft top version.

The fastest RHT on the market
The innovative new construction also scores with its great ease of operation. Thus, the roof opens in an eye-opening 13 seconds: Not a single RHT on the market is faster. The fully automated electromechanical drive system opens and closes at the touch of a button at speeds up to 10 km/h. Another advantage as compared with the previous RHT: Manual unlatching of the front lock is no longer necessary. Thanks to state-of-the art electric motors, a precise, harmonious and above all whisper-quiet sequence control is now possible. For a roadster it is particularly important to have a compact and space-saving storage solution for the top. The rear window is nestled between the roof shells. This allows for the full scope of the trunk to be retained – both in the open and closed positions. What’s more, the roof compartment lid, designed as a fixed cross beam comparable to the “Targa hoop”, provides for additional stability.

Lightweight and sporty
A low center of gravity and weight distribution that is as uniform as possible are essential elements needed to accentuate the sporty driving experience of the MX-5. The implications for the convertible roof experts: the lighter the roof, the better. Therefore, the Webasto engineers chose an intelligent lightweight material mix for the RHT, that would allow for low weight while providing a maximum of stability and safety. The two halves of the roof are manufactured in monocoque construction – aluminum on the outside, reinforced with steel on the inside. The outer shell of the roof compartment lid is made of a fiber-sheet molded compound, and the interior shell, yet again, is made of steel. Thus, the Mazda MX-5 RF is a genuine lightweight sports personality that has driving fun built in and features an innovative retractable hardtop.

Technical information for the RHT:

  • Retractable hardtop with 2 roof shells and finn styling
  • RHT opens and closes in 13 seconds
  • Opening and closing feature at up to 10 km/h
  • Trunk capacity (irrespective of position of the top): 127 l



Under the following link you can download the press picture:

Download (© Mazda)
Caption: Webasto transforms the Mazda MX-5 into an elegant retractable fastback.

About Webasto

Webasto Group based in Stockdorf near Munich has been a family-owned business ever since the company was founded in 1901. The group operates internationally at over 50 locations (over 30 of these production sites) in the divisions roof and thermo systems. Webasto is one of the top 100 automotive suppliers worldwide. For 2014 the Group realized a sales volume of 2.5 Billion Euros and employs over 10,000 employees. The company´s core competencies encompass the development, production and sales of complete roof and convertible systems as well as heating, cooling and ventilation systems for passenger cars, commercial and special vehicles, recreational vehicles and boats. For more information please visit

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