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Mazda Furai Concept and New Mazda RX-8 to Make World Debut



13th December, 2007

Mazda Furai Concept Car

Mazda Motor Corporation will showcase the world premieres of the Mazda Furai concept vehicle and the heavily revised new Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS or, as it better known, the Detroit Motor Show), to be held in Detroit from Saturday, 19th January through Sunday, 27th January, 2008.

Mazda Furai –‘Sound of the wind’

Mazda will redefine the typical concept car design brief when it unveils the radical Furai environmental racer at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show in January.

The Furai concept is the fifth concept in Mazda’s Nagare ‘Flow’ series. It is more than just a design study – it is the physical embodiment of Mazda’s so-called Zoom-Zoom DNA. The Furai is a concept car that was designed for the racetrack.

Inspired by the fact that, on any given weekend, there are more Mazdas and Mazda-powered cars road-raced in the United States than any other brand, the Mazda Furai is the sort of car that could only come from a company that incorporates the “Soul of a Sports Car” into everything it builds, but with an eye toward the future and the environment through the use of ethanol (E100) produced by British Petroleum (BP).

Furai takes Mazda’s unique Nagare (Japanese for “flow”) design language a step further as it is translated into a concept car based on an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car. The car utilises the Courage C65 chassis the company campaigned in the ALMS series only two seasons ago and the 450-hp three-rotor rotary engine that distinguishes it from anything else on the track.

Says Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda’s North American director of design, “Furai purposely blurs boundaries that have traditionally distinguished street cars from track cars. Historically, there has been a gap between single-purpose race cars and street-legal models — commonly called super cars — that emulate the real racers on the road. Furai bridges that gap like no car has ever done before.”

Mazda’s 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.

New Mazda RX-8

Sporting a freshened design, improved handing, acceleration, quality and features, the new Mazda RX-8 continues to be a “Sports Car like no other” and shows that the rotary engine is still a part of Mazda’s future.

Since its launch in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 has been hailed as a genuine sports car, but with a strange new, four-door, four-seat format that delivers sports car values, passenger comfort and driving pleasure. Powered by the world’s only mass-produced rotary engine, RX-8 is the latest successor to the 1967 Cosmo 110S, the world’s first twin-rotor production car. With almost two-million rotary engines sold, and the company’s legendary win at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans – the only Japanese brand to ever win the endurance racing classic – the rotary engine is the sole preserve of Mazda. The rotary engine having dropped by every other car manufacturer who ever 'toyed' with it.

Mazda Taiki

Making its North American debut, the first time it has been shown outside of Japan, Mazda is eager to show the Mazda Taiki alongside the all-new Mazda Furai concept car.

While Taiki is significant as the fourth of the Nagare-inspired concepts in the series, it is also the third rotary-powered car that will be debuted on the Mazda stand. Mazda is committed to the current and future development and production of the rotary engine, as well as pursuing multiple fuel strategies under its Sustainable Zoom-Zoom plan.

The challenge to provide "a design that visually expresses the flow of air" was inspired by the image of a pair of Hagoromo – the flowing robes that enable a celestial maiden to fly in Japanese legend – floating down from the sky. Inspired by Japanese koinobori – the decorative "climbing carp streamers" – the notion of designing an Air-tube became the concept word for the interior design. In accordance, from the dashboard and seats down to the door trim, the interior space provides the dynamic sensation that the flow of the wind is being visually depicted.

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