Mazda’s sporty roadster will soon be able to boast a tin-top challenger to take on expensive premium rivals.

Cleverly, unlike most coupe-convertibles, the petite Mazda Roadster Coupe avoids hunchback dimensions thanks to engineers incorporating the roof mechanism within the same space the canvas hood lived. Boot space remains the same as the convertible at 150 litres.

The hardtop, on sale by the end of the year, should ensure better refinement, safety and security. The metal lid may also help the droptop MX-5 slip under company car lists restricting canvas cabriolets. There is one catch – weight, the Mazda has a weight penalty of around 30kg. Performance drops by over half a second, with the 126PS 1.8-litre sprinting top 62mph in 10secs and the 160PS 2.0-litre 8.5secs.