Apparently the car was actually destroyed during a shoot some time in 2008 but Mazda wanted it kept quiet for whatever reason.
Realistically it was a one off prototype with a bespoke powertrain and cooling system, which was routinely thrashed around race tracks without the benefit of the kind of rigorous testing regime a ‘proper’ lmp car would receive. It’s probably to be expected that something was going to go wrong with it. Just a shame that when it went wrong, the result was a massive inferno which destroyed the entire car.
I do remember about that time there were rumours that the car had been destroyed; Mazda had been super proud of it and rolled it out whenever they could, with loads of testing videos on YouTube, and all of a sudden people stopped seeing it. There was a lot of speculation. I suppose for Mazda it would have been a bad advert when their new baby self-combusted, so they kept a lid on it. I’d love to see some new, reinvented version of the Furai. It was such a beautiful concept and the fact it was actually a working, high performance vehicle, I think marks it as being head and shoulders above similar concepts.
How great would it be to see a Furai-inspired Mazda supercar, with a hybrid system which uses a rotary engine as a range extender. Never happen, but that would be brilliant.