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Mazda Furai concept news - Hell hath no Furai - 2008

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You can always rely on Mazda to provide a treat at the
big motor shows, but the Japanese manufacturer looks set to outdo even its own
high standards in Detroit with this, the Furai concept.

Just look at it. There’s an obvious dose of Mazda’s
‘Nagare’ design language we saw in the Ryuga, Hakaze and Taiki concepts, but
with a whole bunch more aggression and downright cool.

That’s because the Furai is based on Mazda’s American
Le Mans Series endurance racer chassis, the Courage C65. Mazda says the Furai
aims to blur the boundary between trackday specials and supercars.

“We were looking for a way to bridge the gap
between Mazda Motorsports and the production vehicles in our lineup,” said
a Mazda designer. “The purpose of Furai is to find a meeting point for
these disparate interests.”

Which means all the Furai’s swoopy bodywork is
strictly functional, providing downforce and reducing drag to keep the
two-seater as slippery as a greased otter.

Power comes courtesy of a 450bhp three-rotor rotary
engine running on pure bioethanol. Even with a top speed of 180mph, that means
the Furai is technically a green car - just the sort of green car we like, in

The stealth orange-on-matt-black paintjob is inspired
by the livery of the Mazda 787B, the only ever Japanese winner of the Le Mans
24 Hour back in 1991.

But the Furai, sadly, is unlikely to ever reach the
track. Mazda says it does not intend to race the Furai or sell it to the
public, but will instead use it as a rolling testbed for design and aerodynamic

Which sounds very much
like it’s asking to be driven. We’ll be doing our best to secure a cheeky drive
in the Furai in Detroit next week.

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