The rise and fall of the stunning Mazda Furai
A respected car reviewer summarized the short existence of the Mazda Furai in these words, “There’s no denying the Mazda Furai will always be one of the most stunning concept racecars ever built. It was fast, it was gorgeous, and it had a 450-hp Wankel engine that ran on ethanol.”
Indeed, we agree with this observation for it is as perfect and accurate without beating around the bush. For those who might probably never heard of it, the Mazda Furai was a race-oriented concept car that came and faded without as much noise, yet left an indelible mark in the books of world motoring.
Its name, Furai, translates to the “sound of the wind.” Isn’t that poetic?
The Furia was an eccentrically complicated car and Mazda knew all too well that it wouldn’t go to production. But it is the kind of car you would want to see on the streets any day.
The Furia made good use of one of the most complicated engines, the tri-rotary Wankel engine. It is practically a modified version of the 20B found on some road-going Mazdas and takes up E100 ethanol fuel.
In fact, the Furai was fully functional, and Mazda tested it in tracks including the Laguna Seca and Buttonwillow. However, it was best suited for tests of futuristic designs aerodynamic testing, rather than actual racing. The only Mazda Furai that the company ever made was destroyed in a fire when undergoing tests at the Bentwaters Park Air Force base in the U.K.That was the tragic end of this beautiful and gorgeous concept car.