A 'Best of the Best' is the highest Red Dot award available, and is only bestowed on products that show truly outstanding and ground-breaking design, as determined by an international jury made up of 39 designers, professors and journalists. Judging criteria includes innovation, functionality, symbolic and emotional content, ergonomics, ecological compatibility and the somewhat confusing "self-explanatory quality".
The MX-5 RF was one of 102 Best of the Best winners this year, from more than 5,500 entrants across 47 different product categories.
Mazda's head of global design, Ikuo Maeda, said the RF, the first fastback rendition of Mazda's 'KODO' design language, was a group effort.
"Whenever I see this car, I am reminded of an unprecedented team effort, not only between our designers, but also, for example, with our engineers and production specialists.
"Every single one of them deserves some of the credit for this achievement."
The MX-5 RF is the sixth Mazda to receive a Red Dot award since the brand instituted their KODO design language in 2012. As well as the softop MX-5, past winners include the Mazda6 (2013), Mazda3 (2014), CX-3 and Mazda2 (2015).