2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club – Track Upfit Re- Driven Review

2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: retractable folding top roadster brimming with Soul in Red, upfitted for track, at just over $40k.

SLIDING TOP STEED BRAKES FOR POSTURE: An old racer’s recipe for cheapest way around the track isn’t about power but rather about lowered unsprung weight and improved grip. It follows then that the elderly racers at Mazda would follow up their already lithe ND MX-5 Miata RF retractable folding top sport roadster with a lighter & more grippy variant for club style tracking events. It makes logical sense, then, that the nimblest of the ND breed of steed prepped for a Roadblazing.com Re- Drive is the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 6MT.

2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 6MT Driving Hits:

  • Short throw, close ratio 6-speed close ratio manual has positive action (opt. 6-speed automatic w/ steering wheel shift paddles = $325)
  • Relatively light clutch pedal travel disengages at comfortable height
  • Flexibility of torque (155 lb-ft) at under 4000 rpm
  • 181 hp squeezed out of 2.0L Skyactiv-G DOHC inline-4


2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: longitudinal 2.0L DOHC gas I-4 sends 181 hp & 155 lb-ft through close ratio 6 speed manual gearbox to rear propelling 2452 lbs briskly = 32 MPG


  • Weight distribution improves to 51/ 49% Front/ Rear from MX-5 Soft Top
  • 29 combined miles per gallon in a genuine sport roadster
  • Runs on 87 regular octane gas
  • 435 miles fuel tank range
  • Kinematic Posture Control (KPC). During cornering brakes are slightly applied at the rear corner opposite direction of turn to combat tail lift. As a result body roll is reduced without resorting to harsher damping.
  • Ride Quality: Bilstein dampers in conjunction with KPC provides more generous ride compliance
  • Model of electric steering assist which allows road feel in
  • Limited slip differential provides turn with barest oversteer powering out of corner
    • Brembo 4-piston fixed front brake calipers
    • Forged black 17″ inch BBS wheels


2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: 4 piston fixed Brembo front brake calipers and lighter forged BBS 17″ wheels are part of the Club upfitting.


  • Short brake pedal travel modulates responsively
  • Bridgestone Potenza S001 three season performance gumballs exhibit ample grip
  • Ingot like build enhanced by engine bay shock tower braces
  • Hard retracting targa top roof operates in 13 second
  • Less interstate road and wind noise than MX-5 soft top

2023 Mazda MX-5 RF Club 6MT Driving Misses:

  • Some flintiness over rough pavement
  • Exhaust could use some bark
  • 115 pounds heavier than MX-5 soft top
  • Retractable hard roof operates limited to maximum speed of 6 miles per hour

What It Has Got:

  • Pricing: from $28,315 for a 2022 Mazda MX-5 Sport w/ 6-speed manual transmission and cloth top; $40,140 (incl. destination) for the as-tested Soul Crystal Red Metallic, 6-speed manual 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club 6MT.
2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: retractable folding top roadster brimming with Soul in Red, upfitted for track, at just over $40k.


  • Muscular fenders and rear quarter panels, thin wisp headlamps peeking from under clamshell hood overhangs, pronounced Coke bottle fuselage and round taillamps with raceway LED arrow bezels makes for a sharp creased aggressive 4th Generation ND MX-5 Miata
    • Black extended lower front air dam splitter, side skirts, rear bumper skirt, Black mirror caps, Black trunk ducktail spoiler, Black BBS 17″ wheels
2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: roadster for all seasons adds darkened side sill and rear bumper extensions.


  • ELD analog sport gauges with 4.6″ color MFD
  • Sport bucket have good torso support for road course support and long seat cushions for cruising comfort
  • Accommodates 2 adults (roof closed) and two small duffel bags
  • Above par standard feature set on RF models
    • Keyless entry and push button ignition
    • Cruise control
    • Power windows express down, heated side mirrors
    • Glass backlight w/ rear window defroster
    • LED headlights
    • Heated sport bucket seats
    • Leather tilt, telescoping steering, gearshift lever, parking hand-brake
    • 7.0″ color LCD touch and Mazda Connect rotary dial remote control media display
    • Bose 9-speaker radio including headrest speakers HD radio streaming audio
    • Bluetooth hands-free communication
    • Android Auto, Apple Car Play phone projection
  • 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: traditional motif gauges + control w/ modernity of smart phone projection
    • MazdaConnect Apps (HD traffic, Doppler weather radar, Pandora streaming radio)
    • dual USB-A connections
    • Acceptably good safety features & ratings
    • Driver assist safety (i-ActiveSense)
      • Smart city low speed braking, blind spot, rear cross traffic & lane departure warning
    • 3 years / 36,000 miles bumper to bumper, 5 years / 60k mi powertrain warranties

    What the 2023 Mazda MX-5  RF Club 6MT Has Not (or Not Preferred):

    • Super large, tall (> 6’3″), or arthitic may not want to apply for admittance
    • No seat height adjustment
    • Limited steering wheel reach adjustment
    • Small forward center console wireless device tray
    • Shallow center console aft storage bin
    • Locking glovebox is between the seat backs
    • No door pockets
    • Small 4.5 cu. ft. trunk. With a little luck and an adult sitting on the lid, 2 lightly packed 20″ roll-aboard suitcases might squeeze in.
  • 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: a single rollaboard + single handbag trunk w/ tire repair kit
    • Cup holders attach in center console and front passenger transmission tunnel slots
    • Infotainment laggy, touch control only available with vehicle stationary

    Standout Cool 2023 Mazda MX-5 RF Club 6MT  Feature(s):

    • Adaptive turning headlights & automatic high beams
    • Automatic climate control w/ oversized knurled metallic rotary knobs
    • EXCLUSIVE TO MX-5 Club 6MT: Recaro™ suede + leather performance bucket seats
  • 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club: Recaro seats feature sueded inserts for enhanced occupant stability
    • Rain sensing windshield wipers
    • Self-dimming wing mirrors in body matching color
    • Self dimming rear view mirror w/ Homelink garage door remote

    Roadblazing.com Says: Upfitted for track days, a favorite sport roadster still shines hard top up or top down, down on the boulevard.


  • * * * * * * * * * * * *

    WHAT: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata  folding soft-top 2-seat roadster ND = 4th generation = 172 lbs. lighter, 3.2″-inches shorter than previous NC MX-5 Miata.
    • STANDARD POWER: 2.0L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 180 hp/ 155 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm + 6-speed close ratio shifter manual helical transaxle

    This represents a horsepower / torque bump of 26 hp / 3 lb-ft due to valve lift height increase & port angle for improved air swirl. Lightened pistons & connecting rods enable 700 rpm redline increase to 7500 rpm.

      Optional: 6-speed torque converter planetary automatic w/ shift paddles

    • STANDARD CONFIGURATION: Manually retracting soft convertible top with defrosting glass backlight. MX-5 Grand Touring = extra sound insulating layer.

    Retracting the light, durably framed soft-top is a one-handed / armed affair. Closing the roof is possible, though not at all suggested, at speeds up to 30 miles per hour.

      Optional: power Retractable Fastback hard roof = MX-5 RF


    Trying to Be TR-7 rather than Spitfire: chiseled face and corners oust a formerly ovoid self;

    Cats Eyes: migration to wafer thin bi-LED headlamp DRL housings;

    Simulated Contrast Corner Inlets/ Diffusers: yes the fake ones;

    Deep Low Valley: adoption of a steep raked, sharp dual crease hood;

    Shoulders and Haunches above all previous Miata’s: Ballooned muscular fenders, rear quarter panels hence larger wheel arches. Pedestrian directionals added aft of fenders;


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