Mazda Furai concept sneak preview

Published: 12 December 2007

Mazda will pull the wraps of yet another concept car at Detroit – and has released this teaser shot to whet our appetites. Called the Furai – that’s Japanese for ‘the sound of the wind’ - the car was inspired by Mazda’s claim that on any given weekend, there are more Mazdas and Mazda‑powered racing cars in action on circuits across the United States than any other brand.

Drawing design clues from racecars in the ALMS (American Le Mans Series), the Furai is underpinned by the Courage C65 chassis the company campaigned in the 2005 ALMS series, and it’s powered by a mighty 450bhp triple-rotor rotary engine.

'Furai purposely blurs boundaries that have traditionally distinguished street cars from racing cars,' says Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda’s North American director of design. 'There has been a gap between single-purpose racecars and the sportiest of street-legal production models. Furai bridges that gap like no car has ever done before.'

It may be track biased, but the Furai tips its hat to the future – it will be fully bio-ethanol compliant and will even be able to run on fully synthetic fuel, like BP’s new cellulosic ethanol E100.

The Furai will also be joined by a heavily facelifted RX-8. There are no further details yet, but Mazda promises stronger performance, enhanced diving dynamics, additional cabin features and improved build quality. We’ll have the full details when we report live from the show in early January.

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars

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