The begining of the end: Mazda Furai

 

You’re a car guy, right? (yes). You love anything and everything Japanese (Yes)? You love everything that has to do with rotaries (YES)!

You probably remember the last mainstream rotary engined car, the RX8, right? It had suicide doors (like a Rolls Royce), a 9000 rpm red line (Like a 911 gt3!) and 50/50 weight distribution (Like a miata!). Needless to say it was a classic…er… should’ve been. After the production stopped, many people lost attention and interest in the car…. But this isn’t about the rx8… Heck, that was it’s own skunk works program that was never supposed to exist but anyways. The Japanese only Mazda Cosmo donated it “engine” ,in loose terms, to a new secretive development. Something fast, new, and stylish. Something rotary powered. Something….

Furaious

Oh just you wait, the puns will only get worse from here…..But anyways, onto the car! If you were old enough to remember the mid 2000s, you’ll probably remember Mazda’s striking line of Nagare concept cars. They were a series of sleek, stylish, and functional concepts which, as most concepts do, showed off the future of Mazda’s design. The long, flowing lines which mold into each other almost make the car look like it was designed with water and air in mind (Nagari means flow. Keep that in mind).

The car was revealed in late December of 2007, making a whooping zero horsepower as it was only a concept. A sleek concept at that. So the obvious thing to do is take a chassis from a previous LMP-2 racer and plop the Furai’s beautiful design on the thing, right? Well a simple man might say that’s too much work, but this is 2008! The world needs some brightening up! “Put it on” said the Mazda head! And so came the Furai. The fully functioning concept was revealed at the 2008 North American Auto show along with the Corvette ZR-1, which at the time, was the fastest American car you can buy, the Audi R8 TDI, a v12 diesel powered R8 (Maybe I should write about that?), the Fisker Karma (a failure by any means), and the LFA roadster (Just yes).  The overall reception to the car was overwhelmingly positive, well, because it was a good car…

Let’s get some of the specs outta the way

  • Three (YES THREE) Whole rotors spinning away to produce…
  • 450 horsepower. Don’t think this is a lot? Well it tips the scales at…
  • 675 kg (1488 lbs), which makes it lighter than most lightweight track cars. Meaning it has a power to weight ratio of 0.302. It’s better than a veyron, that’s for sure
  • An LMP-2 chassis
  • e100 race fuel (ALL ETHANOL!!!!(!))

But why don’t we see this hot beast NOWADAYS?

I think this shows just how much of the car was left (not a lot)

Let’s just say Topgear Magazine got a little bit too…well.. Lit with the car. As they were getting photos for the engine, the car suffered a catastrophic engine failure, and I do mean catastrophic. The car caught ablaze from what I can only imagine is a terrible terrible heating issue. Sadly we’ll never know what went wrong, well, aside from it caught on fire. Fire crews were a bit too late to save it as it was already burnt to a crisp when they arrived. The car was shipped off, never to be seen again. It could’ve been scrapped, rebuilt, or kept in the same condition. We’ll never know…. Poo… But it could’ve had a future. A bright one, where it was sold to customers for actual racing, which it did qualify for. Sigh, but that’s a future we’ll never see. Poo

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