Mazda's New Rotary Rocket

Mazda is known for it's very clever use of the rotary engine, especially the RX series. Recently, they decided to add another vehicle to the Rotary family, and it's a love-hate relationship.

The Furai (pronounced : foo-rye) was introduced at the North American International Auto Show and turned more than a few heads. The Furai, along with a handful of other amazing concepts, are all part of Mazda's "Nagare" or "Flow" , design style. It doesn't take a very long look to see the "flow" of the Furai.

The teaser shot of the new rotary powered machine doesn't really give us much to speculate on. The vents across the top may indicate a midship engine layout, which has become increasingly popular among the supercar genre.

There are 2 very important points Mazda made when asked about this vehicle. The first was the fact that it is setting on the Courage C65 Racing Chassis, which ensures it can handle the most aggressive corners. The C65 was campaigned about 2 years ago through the American Le Mans series.

The other significant piece of information had to do with the 20B rotary used to power the Furai. Not only does it run on 100% pure ethanol, but it is also capable of producing over 450 horsepower. Sounds like the perfect powerplant for a 2010 RX-7 (Hint Hint)?

Either way, a clean running supercar is exactly what the automotive world needs to see. There is no official word as to whether the Furai will be strictly race oriented or make it into the production realm, but according Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda's North American director of design: "Furai purposely blurs boundaries that have traditionally distinguished street cars from track cars..." That sounds promising.

Origin : MotorTrend

George Delozier
Automotive Innovations