The Toyota GT86 and Mazda MX-5 are both very familiar. And very similar, too. Both are unashamedly simple rear-wheel-drive sports cars, with turbo-free engines driven through manual gearboxes. Driving fun is highest of all on their agendas.
And yet they’ve never been direct rivals. The GT86 is a coupe with back seats and a decent boot, and starts at over £25,000. The MX-5 is a strict two-seater with a soft top, titchy load space and prices which begin comfortably below £20,000.
That’s until the arrival of the MX-5 RF, the rather nicely proportioned car you see left of shot. It is, effectively, an MX-5 coupe. There’s no more practicality than before, but its price suddenly matches the GT86’s. And with its stiffer structure and hard top, it seems to be treading on the Toyota’s toes at last.
Pictures: Alex Tapley