From Mazda press: 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 ethanol (E100) produced by BP. 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. rvine, Calif.-based Aria Group was responsible for creating new composite panels and they worked hand-in-hand with Mazda North American Operations' own in-house fabrication team to mate them to the Courage chassis. The dark matte finish with red and orange accents harkens back to the livery worn by Mazda's legendary 787B when it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991, making the company the first - and still only - Japanese company to ever win the endurance classic.
Furai not only probes future design possibilities, it also ventures ahead with an alternative fuel. Consistent with the Mazda's recently announced "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom" initiatives, as well as a move away from gasoline in various racing venues, Furai's three-rotor powerplant has been tuned to run powerfully on 100-percent ethanol (ethyl alcohol).
Gasoline-alcohol blends known as E10 (gasohol which contains 10-percent alcohol) and E85 (containing 85-percent alcohol) have been widely available for road use for several years. By eliminating gasoline, E100 removes dependency on imported petroleum and improves Furai's exhaust emissions to levels rarely seen on a car of this performance.
John Doonan, Mazda's manager of motorsports team development, explains the thinking behind Furai's use of alternative fuel, "One of our key technical partners in our motorsports activity - BP - helped facilitate our use of E100. In 2007, ALMS required use of E10 and E100 is now the only acceptable fuel in the Indy Racing League, so we're projecting ahead with this application to gain experience and to improve Mazda's environmental profile.
BP has a very green focus in the marketplace, and it's Mazda's intention to sustain its Zoom-Zoom performance image on and off the racetrack. While Mazda's rotary has proven readily adaptable to various alternative fuels, including considerable work with hydrogen fuel, this is the first time it's been engineered for E100."