Mazda Furai Concept car
The sensational Mazda Furai concept car, which made its world premiere at the Detroit Show in January and performed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, will head a line-up of 18 Mazda cars on display at the British International Motor Show from 23 July.
Celebrating over 40 years of Mazda’s rotary engine and international motorsports heritage, the two-seater, mid-engined, rear-wheel drive 180mph Furai is the raciest interpretation of the NAGARE design language (the ‘embodiment of motion’) to-date. Joining the Furai on Stand 19 in the South Hall at ExCeL, will be the new Mazda RX-8 R3 four-door sports coupe and the upgraded Mazda BT-50 pickup, making their European premieres.
The Furai (pronounced ‘foo-rye’ – Japanese for ‘sound of wind’) is the sort of car that could only come from a company that incorporates the ‘Soul of a Sports Car’ into everything it builds. Furai was created at Mazda North American Operations’ (MNAO) studio in Irvine, California under the leadership of Franz von Holzhausen, Director of Design. The design team set out to develop a car that blurred the boundaries between road-car and racecar.
The team began by taking a 450ps Mazda rotary-engined Courage C65 carbon-composite racecar chassis (successfully campaigned in the LMP-2 class of the American Le Mans Series), and adding a closed cockpit and Nagare design elements. But while the four previous concept cars explored Nagare’s emerging design aesthetic, every element of the Furai’s textures and details serve a functional purpose.
Channelling, rather than just visually interpreting the flow of air, Furai’s Nagare ‘flow lines’ actually enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance, by directing air under, over and around the body surface. An under-car diffuser below the tail helps to draw the volume of air flowing through the radiators and engine bay, out of the car to ‘exhaust’ between the rear wheels – achieving the goals of improved cooling and generating handling stability through aerodynamic downforce.