The Mazda MX-5 RF is the perfect companion to explore this city by night. Slipping into the figure-hugging Recaro seat of this pre-production model, you’re immediately aware of how all the controls are perfectly placed and how cocooned you feel within the cabin. Despite the additional weight of the RF’s folding roof mechanism, there are no penalties to pay when it comes to performance. This 2.0-litre model feels just like its softtop ND cousin out on the road, weaving its way through the remnants of London’s late night traffic, negotiating the city’s modern byways and narrow Victorian lanes with consummate ease. Accelerating through the Limehouse Link tunnel, the twin exhaust pipe issuing a fruity salvo, there’s no other sports car you’d rather be in. From your position behind the wheel to the actual driving experience itself, you feel an intuitive connection with the car. Everything in the RF has had Mazda’s Jinba-Ittai philosophy – ‘horse and rider as one’ – applied to it. Just the right size, with more than enough power, the RF feels eager and perfectly balanced. And when a brief shower of rain falls from the bruised night sky, the RF’s roof can be raised in a matter of seconds at the touch of a button. The ideal driving partner for London, and its famously inclement weather.
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