MAZDA FURAI –‘SOUND OF WIND’
MAZDA WILL SHOWCASE FURAI CONCEPT AND 2009 RX-8 AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW
The Mazda booth at the Jacob Javits Convention Center will be a very popular destination during this year’s auto show. Mazda will show off its newest concept car, the Mazda Furai, and the freshened 2009 Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), to be held in New York from Wednesday, March 19 through Sunday, March 30, 2008.
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 (Japanese for “sound of the wind” and pronounced “foo-rye”) 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. Furai was tuned to run on 100% ethanol, and the company’s partnership with BP will see future and renewable fuels jointly developed.
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 utilizes 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 racecars and street-legal 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.
This cool or what? We can't remember a more jaw-dropping car than the stunning Mazda Furai concept
Feel free to take the scissors to March's issue of Top Gear magazine. We wouldn't blame you, and neither would Laurens van den Acker. He's design overlord at Mazda, and the man who in the last two years has overseen the most eye-popping collection of concept cars since Giorgetto Giugiaro and Nuccio Bertone reached their late Seventies psychedelic zenith.
The Furai is the fifth and final 'Nagare' car, an unexpected addition to van den Acker's 'natural flow' big idea. Car design doesn't get much more philosophical than this, but at heart it's actually very simple. Says Laurens, "It's really important that we create some cars that end up on an eight-year old kid's bedroom wall. People don't dream enough any more."The first 'Nagare' car - helpfully called Nagare - appeared at the 2006 Los Angeles show, yet despite its wild appearance, it was quickly upstaged by the Ryuga, Hakaze and Taiki (the one with the 'outrider' wheels) that followed. Now the Furai's here. Mazda, purveyor of well-engineered but frequently inoffensive automotive product, has hijacked every major motor show in the last two years.
"I inherited a plan that called for four concepts in a year," explains van den Acker, a worldly 42-year-old Dutchman who's fluent in six languages, "and I figured that they had to have a strong philosophy, otherwise we'd be heading off in conflicting directions.
"Mazda is about the emotion of motion, so we looked at the movement of wind and water and all that sort of stuff. Then we tried to capture that in sheet metal."
'The Furai is based on a Courage C65 LMP2 chassis and uses a mid-mounted 450bhp rotary engine'
Very successfully, you'd have to say. In fact, some critics reckon that this suite of Mazda concepts has finally unlocked the idea of pure Japanese car design.
Think about it: despite all those great sports cars, quirky J and K cars, and an astonishing aesthetic tradition encompassing Buddhism, Shinto, Samurai, Manga and much besides, not to mention the fact that they know how to make serious money out of manufacturing cars, deconstructing Japanese design is still like nailing jelly to a wall.It's ironic that a Dutchman managing 300-odd employees in four separate design studios across three continents should be the one successfully wielding the jelly hammer.
As memorable as they all are, though, it's still tempting to write off the 'Nagare' cars as well-executed pie-in-the-sky. Van den Acker insists otherwise. And, despite being the most extreme of the lot, this is where the Furai comes in. Because it actually works.Created under the watchful eye of Franz von Holzhausen (great names, guys) at Mazda's California studio, the Furai is actually based on a three-year-old Courage C65 LMP2 chassis (which ran competitively in the American Le Mans Series), and uses a mid-mounted 450bhp rotary engine modified to run on E100 ethanol.
'Nagare' goes racing, then, partly to promote the impossible-to-verify fact that there are apparently more Mazda and Mazda-powered racing cars in action on American circuits than any other make, partly to bring the pie back down to earth.
Mazda Furai Concept
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 renewable fuels. Driving toward sustainability, Furai was initially tuned to operate on 100 percent ethanol fuel, the first time a racing three-rotor rotary engine has been fueled by ethanol. Research continues in earnest with partner BP into other renewable and future fuels, including ethanol gasoline blends like E10.
On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas and Mazda-powered cars road-raced in North America than any other brand of car. This is because every Mazda sedan, coupe and sports car really is developed with the highest possible dose of the company's trademark Zoom- Zoom - truly the Emotion of Motion.
However, Zoom-Zoom is more than simply vehicle performance. The look and style that is Zoom-Zoom can best be seen in previous NAGARE-based efforts, including the Mazda Nagare concept that debuted at Los Angeles in 2006; Mazda Ryuga, which was first shown a year ago in Detroit; Mazda Hakaze, which appeared in Geneva last year; and Mazda Taiki, the star of the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.
"Nagare" is how Mazda's future models will sustain the Zoom-Zoom spirit by exhibiting their strong affinity for motion.
Manufacturers commonly showcase design studies with little or no intention of actually using the theme presented. Mazda's approach is the opposite: All of the Nagare concepts, including Furai, help evolve this evocative surface language for future use. Every vehicle Mazda sells embodies the soul of a sports car to achieve a true Zoom-Zoom dynamic character. Nagare is how this celebration of motion will be portrayed on interior and exterior surfaces in future models. Instead of form following function, the two merge as one.Interior Design for Mazda Furai Race
interior, which contains only two people who have caused this Mazda Furai is designed for racing at high speed as the SV. as a race car is all perfect from the start the engine and spare parts for himself. This frame is based on competition, the Courage C65 Le Mans Prototype that Mazda last used to compete in the American Le Mans Series, two seasons in the past , and is designed to use E100 ethanol, supports 3 – next-generation rotor Wankel engine, which pulls out 450 brake horsepower (340 kW). The engine is developed and produced the famous rotary tuner, Racing Beat, who also built the car exhaust pipe rotating. Basically, the car works perfectly on top, and most progressive of the rocket.
The cockpit area and engine cover continue with theme with flowing arcs forming window lines, intakes, slatted air outlets and shutlines.
The engine cover incorporates a stylised air-intake and a great mesh grille design.
Under the skin, its pure Courage ALMS racer, but the original Mazda race-car engine has been replaced by a Rotary unit which runs on E100 Ethanol.
Like most race-cars, this concept has a livery. This, along with the race number, was inspired by the Le Mans winning Mazda 787B. Sponsors are from their 2007 American Le Mans Series campaign.