Mazda Australia has expressed strong interest in the new flagship 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF RS model that will soon join the company's Japanese-market range.
The MX-5 RF RS sits as the priciest of the three-tier domestic Japanese RF range, above base 'S' and the higher grade 'VS' variants, which respectively align themselves with the forthcoming Australian base and GT versions.
The RS version adds a Brembo four-piston front brake package, black finish BBS alloy rims (in common 17x7-inch sizing shared amongst the range) and specific leather and Alcantara bucket seats co-developed, Mazda says, with Recaro. The RS enhancements are similar, though not identical, to the Club version of the soft-top fourth-generation MX-5 sold in the US market.
"We're looking into the RS (for local release) though we haven't committed to it yet," says Mazda Australia Marketing Director, Alastair Doak.
"We're certainly interested."
While the RS looks set to complete the launch line-up alongside S and VS in Japan, the suggestion from Mazda Australia is that the hotter RS version - however it may be branded in Oz - might follow on at some point after the RF's initial local release.
"First we had the soft-top and we'll get the regular RF in February, so there's plenty of scope to add (RS) somewhere further along the track."
Available in manual only, the RF RS goes on sale in its domestic market for 3,736,800 yen ($AU46,200), or roughly a five per cent premium over the manual VS version, which sells in Japan for 3,574,800 yen ($AU44,200).
For comparison's sake, the manual RF GT will go on sale in Australia in February at $43,890 before on-roads.
Seats, brakes and rims apart, the RS is otherwise identical to Japan's VS, featuring the same 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four (rated at 116kW/200Nm in Japan) and identical suspension tune.
Check out our first drive of the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF here.