The all-new Mazda MX-5 RF has won the “Red Dot: Best of the Best” title at the 2017 Red Dot product design awards, adding to the already illustrious awards tally of Mazda’s range of KODO: Soul of Motion designed cars. The Retractable Fastback duplicates the success of its convertible sibling, which took away the same award in 2015.
The highest honour available from the internationally acclaimed annual competition is bestowed only for truly outstanding and ground-breaking designs. According to organisers, “Best of the Best” winners are the products of design visionaries who managed to achieve a perfect harmony of quality, desirability and usability.
The first fastback interpretation of KODO, the RF features a one-of-a-kind lightweight power retractable hardtop that looks fantastic, and in a remarkable display of origami, opens and closes in just 13 seconds. Adding coupé practicality to the MX-5’s matchless open top driving fun, the RF deepens the overall experience while remaining true to the Mazda’s Jinba Ittai driver and car as one ethos, which has made the MX-5 a legend – and the best-selling two-seater sports car in history.
“We’ve taken the MX-5 down an exciting new road with the RF. Whenever I see this car, I am reminded of an unprecedented team effort, not only by our designers but also our engineers and production specialists,” said Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s Global Head of Design. “Every single one of them deserves some of the credit for this achievement.”
Reserved for products meeting the highest design standards in their given category, the jury of 39 designers, professors and journalists picked just 102 “Best of the Best” winners from more than 5,500 entries received from 54 countries. Criteria include innovation, functionality, ergonomics, symbolic and emotional content, self-explanatory quality and ecological compatibility. Mazda and the other winners will receive their awards at the Aalto Theatre in Essen on the 3rd July 2017. The Red Dot Design Yearbook will be released the same day and will showcase Best of the Best recipients with special portraits of their creators.
This is the sixth Red Dot prize to date for Mazda’s current model generation. The Mazda CX-3 and Mazda2 won awards in 2015 alongside the MX-5 convertible, while the Mazda3 and Mazda6 took home honours in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
Initiated in 1955 by the Essen, Germany-based Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Red Dot is one of the world’s largest product competitions. The winning designs, selected this year in 47 categories including cars & motorcycles, have earned the right to bear the “red dot” symbol, an international seal of excellence. As part of the world’s biggest exhibition of contemporary design, they will feature at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen for five weeks following the award ceremony.