The sensational Mazda Furai concept car, which made its world premiere at the Detroit Show in January, is heading a line-up of 18 Mazda cars currently on display at the British International Motor Show.
Celebrating more than 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.
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’s North American operations’ 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 race car.
The team began by taking a 450bhp Mazda rotary-engined Courage C65 carbon-composite race car chassis (successfully campaigned in the LMP-2 class of the American Le Mans Series ), and adding a closed cockpit and Nagare design elements.
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.
Upgraded Mazda BT-50
make Euro debut
The refined, upgraded Mazda BT-50, which is making its European debut at the BIMS, inherits the athletic looks of the current model, while incorporating a touch of brawny truck toughness into the exterior design.
Combined with a broader range of exterior colours, the refreshed look conveys rugged reliability, an individualistic character, and strong road presence.
All versions of the upgraded BT-50 are powered by the popular 143bhp, 330Nm 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine which is carried over unchanged, together with a five-speed manual gearbox. The drivetrain is still offered in two versions – a 2WD only version and a 2WD/4WD version that is ideal for commercial use or for more adventurous lifestyles.