December 13, 2007 The Mazda Furai concept vehicle will make its World debut alongside the new Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. Details of the Furai ("Sound of the wind") are still thin on the ground ahead of the launch and just one teasing image has been released, but the car will continue to extend the Nagare (Japanese for “flow”) design language most recently showcased in the radical Mazda Taiki Concept which premiered at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show in October.
Using an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car as a basis, the Furai combines the wavelike contours seen in the Taiki with a Courage C65 chassis and the 450-hp three-rotor rotary engine running on ethanol (E100).
“Furai purposely blurs boundaries that have traditionally distinguished street cars from racing cars,” says Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda’s North American director of design. “Historically, there has been a gap between single-purpose racecars and the sportiest of street-legal production models — commonly called supercars — that emulate the real racers on the road. Furai bridges that gap like no car has ever done before.
“Mazda’s critically acclaimed Nagare design language describes the flow of water, air, people or things moving in one direction. Mazda Nagare is flow, with an insightful and spirited styling, which, in Mazda Furai, invokes a raw, unfettered desire to possess everything this car represents,” enthuses Holzhausen.
The Mazda Taiki concept vehicle also appear for the first time outside Japan at the NAIAS along with the new, four-door, four-seat RX-8 and the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid.