Mazda Motors UK has put a £1,200 ($US2,268) premium on the MX-5 Roadster Coupe range that will start from £18,210 (on the road).

However, it notes that both climate control air conditioning (£800) and a popular options pack (£1,280) are standard on the 1.8i and 2.0i Roadster Coupe models (it also prices the soft top 2.0i roadster with these items).

Like the roadster, the UK-spec Roadster Coupe will be offered here with three powertrains (1.8i or 2.0i with five-speed gearbox, 2.0i Sport with six-speed gearbox), and plenty of individual options and accessories.

"Global demand for the new Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe is already very strong, so availability is going to be a little bit restricted this year," noted the factory-owned UK importer's marketing director Mark Cameron. One of the "several hundred cars destined for the UK" this year can now be secured on a new pre-order website for delivery from November.

Mazda UK claims its previous pre-order websites have proved immensely popular, with the RX-8 site selling 1,800 cars and the latest third generation MX-5 site finding buyers for all 300 of the special Launch Edition model - weeks before the official on-sale date.

The Roadster Coupe is 10mm taller than the soft top version and the maker claims it has lost none of its sister roadster's balanced driving dynamics. It weighs an extra 37kg but retains the ideal 50:50 weight distribution because the roof retracts into the same space behind the seats as the soft-top's lid and doesn't reduce boot (trunk) space.

Unusually, Mazda UK notes that "improved residual values are also anticipated" for the new variant, making it "an unbeatable proposition for fleet operators".

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