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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata won't get power folding hardtop

Thu, 11 Sep 2014

Following the reveal of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, more and more details (and rumors – oh, the rumors) are coming out regarding exactly what's in store when the car finally goes on sale. Our own Chris Paukert had plenty to say about the exterior and interior, and we've now seen the first photo of the engine. But a new report from Automobile sheds even more light on the 2016 Miata – specifically, that the power folding hardtop model won't be available, at least initially.

Automobile reports that the 2016 MX-5 will only be offered with a cloth top, and an insider confirmed that the mechanism is light and accessible enough that it can be raised and lowered with one hand from inside the car. Mazda officials would not comment on the availability of a hardtop in the coming years.

That said, a hardtop Miata isn't out of the question. There will likely be some sort of fixed roof available – even as a one-piece, lift-off accessory – if only for club racing. Also, remember that the current NC Miata's hardtop is the only one on the market that doesn't take up any additional trunk space, so it's an attractive proposition for buyers. Currently, the power hardtop is only offered on the Club and Grand Touring MX-5 Miata trims.

Of course, the main philosophy with the 2016 MX-5 is making the car compact and light. Mazda has already confirmed that the new car sheds some 220 pounds versus its predecessor, and the hardtop mechanism would only increase the car's heft. But it's not like the hardtop hasn't been a success. Since its introduction in 2007, the take rate for the PRHT (Power Retractable Hard Top) model has been 52 percent, versus 48 percent for the softtop, a Mazda spokesperson tells Autoblog. With favorable numbers like that, we suspect it's only a matter of time before a newly engineered PRHT model hits the market.

What do you think? Will the ND Miata be better off without an available hardtop model, or will that hinder sales? Sound off in the Comments.

By Steven J. Ewing

See also: Mazda Miata 'fathers' Hall and Case offer a tour through the roadster's history, Teen Miata enthusiast and friend of Autoblog passes away, Autoblog Podcast #396.