Mazda has given its popular MX-5 two-seat roadster a boost with a new top-of-the-range trim level for 2020.

Crowning the range this year is the new GT Sport Tech model, which sits above the Sport Tech version in the MX-5 stable. Priced from £29,310 for the convertible with the 2-litre petrol engine, it will arrive in UK dealerships in February.

Included in the price is a set of 17-inch BBS alloy wheels and burgundy leather upholstery, which mark the car out from its siblings. The flagship model also gets black door mirror caps and stainless steel scuff plates.

2020 Mazda MX-5 RF

All that comes in addition to the Sport Tech’s equipment, which includes satellite navigation, automatic headlights and a reversing camera. Automatic wipers are included, too, along with a Bose audio system and keyless entry and start.

Under the bonnet, the GT Sport Tech comes exclusively with the 2-litre, 181 bhp petrol engine, which is offered with solely with a manual gearbox on the convertible model. Those who opt for the RF model with its folding hard top, meanwhile, will get the choice of an automatic transmission.

2020 Mazda MX-5 RF

Those who opt for a manual, however, get much more than just a clutch pedal. Manual 2-litre MX-5s come with sports suspension that incorporates Bilstein dampers, while there’s also a front strut brace for added stiffness and a limited-slip differential on the back axle.

The manual gearbox makes the car noticeably faster, too. The automatic RF model is more than a second slower to 62 mph than its manual sister, and even that car’s 6.8-second 0-62 mph time is no match for the 6.5-second convertible. There’s no fuel economy benefit, either, as the manual returns up to 40.9 mpg while the automatic only manages 37.2 mpg.

2020 Mazda MX-5 RF

As well as providing this new trim level, Mazda has also carried out some more subtle updates across the MX-5 range. A new Polymetal Grey Metallic paint is available across the range, while everything from mid-range Sport models upwards gets lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking, among other things.

Every model in the range also benefits from telescopic steering wheel adjustment, while high-end Sport Tech and GT Sport Tech versions get adaptive LED headlights and a blind-spot monitoring system. The styling, however, has remained unchanged, leaving no obvious external differences between 2019 and 2020 cars.

2020 Mazda MX-5 RF

“When it comes to driver engagement, the current generation MX-5 has already established itself as a benchmark sports car, and with the 2020 Mazda MX-5 we continue to offer one of the most exciting and satisfying to drive cars money can buy,” said Mazda UK’s managing director, Jeremy Thomson. “Our engineers have created a sports car that incorporates our ground-breaking Skyactiv technology, modern safety and superb efficiency with the driver focused enjoyment for which the MX-5 is loved.

“The MX-5 is Mazda’s brand icon and it embodies all that is great about our products. Its fun-to-drive character has strengthened the bond between Mazda and its customers for 30 years, and the 2020 model continues this unswerving dedication to delivering an affordable, engaging, world-class sports car.”

Gallery: 2020 Mazda MX-5 UK-spec