Cars > Mazda > Mazda Roadster RS 2013

By Ketan Patel

Mazda Roadster RS 2013 Review

After we've talked in detail about the Mazda MX-5 Kuro and the MX-5 GT Concept which are both based on the 2012 model, now it's time to report that the Mazda Roadster RS 2013, which is basically known as the MX-5 outside of Japan, has gone on sale in the Land of the Rising Sun to all Mazda dealerships.

The new model which hopefully will be made available outside Japan sooner rather than later boasts some notable changes in design, both inside and out. One of the most interesting features is the redesigned soft-top which gives the car a very interesting look. Other than that the new Roadster RS boasts more aggressive lines, a reshaped front bumper with larger front grille, a new front chin spoiler and redesigned front fog lamp bezels. Furthermore a new body color named Dolphin Gray Mica has been added, but it has replaced the Metropolitan Gray Mica body color.

Same as with the exterior, a new color –Glossy Dark Gray- has been made available for the interior on the steering wheel bezel and decoration panel. Although this new color comes as a standard, for the soft-top S trim level it comes as an optional extra.

In addition, a new tan color is now available for the leather seat covers which retain the black leather on the sides of the seat, creating a stylish two-tone design. Furthermore, combinations of black fabric, tan and black leather and Alcantara are available as an option.

Under its hood the Roadster RS 2013 comes with a MZR 2.0 liter DOHC engine mated with a 5-speed manual, a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission, but the 5-speed manual is not available for the hard-top.

Other mechanical characteristics are the enhanced acceleration control available on the manual transmission models, enhanced braking control and the active bonnet which at certain speeds, whenever sensors detect an impact the rear end of the bonnet will rise creating a space between it and the engine. This helps absorbing the energy of impact and increases safety.

As far as pricing goes the Mazda Roadster RS 2013 has gone on sale in Japan at the price of 2,330,000 Yens ($29,308 at this morning's conversion rate) for the soft-top base model, and it can go up to 2,920,000 Yens ($36,729) for the hard top 6-speed automatic VS RHT model.

Hide Official Press Release

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has upgraded the Mazda Roadster (known overseas as the Mazda MX-5) for the Japanese market. The refreshed two-seater open-top sports car goes on sale today at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan.

The design of the upgraded Roadster distinguishes between the sporty character of the soft top and the refined character of the power retractable hard top (RHT) through the use of coordinated black and silver features respectively. The front face of both versions has been redesigned to present a more aggressive look. For the interior, a new luxury tan color is available for the genuine leather seats. In addition, revised characteristics of the throttle and brake booster (power braking device) have improved control of the accelerator in the manual transmission models and the brakes in all models. The enhancements add polish to the pure driving pleasure which has made the Roadster (MX-5) famous.

In addition, the updated Roadster features an Active Bonnet (pedestrian protection system) which raises the rear end of the bonnet in the event of an accident to reduce impact to the head.

Main features of the upgraded Mazda Roadster

A distinct character for the RHT and Soft-top version

  • The keywords guiding the design of the soft top were "tight sports". Coordinated black features express sportiness
  • The keywords guiding the design of the RHT were "premium sports." Coordinated silver features denote refined, high quality driving performance
  Soft Top Power Retractable Hard Top
Front combination light bezel Black Chrome
Design No change New design for 17-inch wheels
Color Dark gray metallic Silver
Soft top New "saddle tan" colored cloth top
(Available as an option for the RS)
Decoration panel Glossy dark gray (new) Glossy dark gray (new)
Steering wheel bezel Glossy dark gray (new)
(Available only with RS)
Glossy dark gray (new)
Inner door handle Black Aluminum color
Meter hood Compact type (new design) Standard type
Meter ring Glossy dark gray (new) Aluminum color
Seatback bar garnish Glossy dark gray
(new to the RS model grade)
Black (S, NR-A)
Aluminum color
(RS RH and, VS RHT)
Black (S RHT)
<Aggressive front view>
  • Front face has a sense of depth with a larger front grille opening
  • Newly designed front fog lamp bezel
  • New front chin spoiler
  • New body color, Dolphin Gray Mica now available (Total seven body colors are available. Metropolitan Gray Mica is no longer available).
<Enhanced interior quality>
  • A lustrous and expressive new color, Glossy Dark Gray is used for the decoration panel and steering wheel bezel. (The color is an option for the Soft Top version of the S model grade.)
  • Addition of a new tan color for the genuine leather seat covers. Black on the seat sides creates a stylish two-tone design. Fabric (black), leather (tan and black) and a combination of Alcantara® and black leather seat cover materials are available.

Sports car driving pleasure taken to the next level

  • Enhanced acceleration control (manual transmission models)
    Fine adjustments to the throttle management program make it more responsive when accelerating out of corners. This creates a linear and nimble feel.
  • Enhanced braking control
    Changes to the characteristics of the brake booster (power braking device) make it easier to control the front and rear load distribution, increasing the feel of mastery over the vehicle.

Newly developed active bonnet for all model grades

  • Active bonnet
    At certain vehicle speeds, when sensors detect an impact exceeding a defined level, the rear end of the bonnet is raised. This creates a space between the bonnet and the engine which acts to absorb the energy of impact and reduces the severity of head injuries in collisions involving pedestrians.

Cutting weight one gram at a time

  • In order to keep weight down, uncompromising attention was paid to weight reduction in the design of new parts including the re-designed front bumper, the active bonnet, the new 17-inch aluminum wheels and the internal wiring.

Manufacturer's suggested retail prices for the Mazda Roadster

Roof type Grade Drive Engine Transmission Price (yen)
(with tax)
Soft Top S RWD MZR2.0L
5-speed MT 2,330,000
NR-A 5-speed MT 2,450,000
RS* 6-speed MT 2,600,000
Hard Top
S RHT 6-speed EC-AT
RS RHT* 6-speed MT 2,860,000
VS RHT 6-speed EC-AT


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