Mazda Furai Concept Car
Forget the Batmobile, the Mazda Furai is one of the wildest looking cars of the moment. And we’ve just had one of the wildest rides of our life in this astonishing race car-cum-concept.
You can watch the Furai in action in our official video below – and read our first impressions after a few hot laps. Flipping through the Mazda Furai’s press guff tells us it’s the latest in Mazda’s family of Nagare ‘flow’ concepts, following on from the Nagare (unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show 2006), Ryuga (Detroit 2007), Hakaze (Geneva 2007) and Taiki (Tokyo 2007). Oh, and Mazda Furai is Japanese for ‘sound of the wind’. Wind-passing jibes aside, on looks alone, the Furai is stunning.
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Mazda Furai: the design story
The Mazda Furai was created at Mazda’s Californian design studio under the leadership of Mazda’s American design boss Franz von Holzhausen (recently poached to head up Tesla’s fledgling design base).
The Mazda Furai sits on a C65 Courage Le Mans race car chassis, to which Von Holzhausen and his team added a closed cockpit – and that head-turning composite bodywork. All those organic details that cover every square inch of the car’s body not only look good, but they also play a vital aerodynamic role, smoothing airflow over, under and through the car to boost cooling, high-speed stability and downforce.
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And what are the Mazda Furai’s performance stats?
With a 460bhp 2.0-litre triple-rotor Mazda engine driving the rear wheels through a close-ratio six-speed paddleshift ‘box, this 998kg ethanol-drinking rocket knows all about high speed.
It will smoke its way to 60mph in just 3.8 seconds and howl like a banshee up to its 172mph maximum. So when I got a call from Mazda asking if I’d like an ride in the Mazda Furai, with ex-touring car ace Mark Ticehurst at the wheel, I was at the track and ready to go before they hung up.
Mazda Furai Concept