Top Gear apologises for destruction of Mazda concept car
11th September 2013, 15:56 at 3:56 pm #133581
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to people to learn that I am an enormous fan of all things Mazda. It is with no small degree of sadness then, that I see that one of the most beautiful cars that Mazda has ever made – the priceless one-off concept car, the Mazda Furai – has been destroyed while on loan to Top Gear Magazine. Built around a Courage LMP2 chassis, mated to a triple-rotor engine derived from the Renesis found in the RX-8, running on Bioethanol, the Furai was meant to be the ultimate expression of the Nagare design philosophy which inspired a new generation of Mazda road cars.
There are no official details on what exactly happened, but pictures make it very clear that the car was utterly destroyed by fire. Top Gear were loaned the car for a feature in their 20th Anniversary magazine. A statement appeared on their website, but was later retracted, seeming to claim responsibility for the destruction of the car (complete with apology), though it appears that the car was being driven by Mazda’s official demo driver at the time of the accident.
Further details along with pictures can be found here: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130911/CARNEWS/130919979
Warning – website contains images which some viewers may find upsetting.
RIP Mazda Furai :(11th September 2013, 16:16 at 4:16 pm #241650
:(11th September 2013, 16:18 at 4:18 pm #241651
That is a shame because it is (was) an absolutely beautiful creation, I had it on my calendar a few years ago (ironically the Top Gear one).11th September 2013, 16:31 at 4:31 pm #241652
Damn, what a shame.. Remember when it first appeared, myself and many others hoped to actually see it at Le Mans. Sad ending for such a stunning car.11th September 2013, 17:22 at 5:22 pm #241653
Good timing, just got home from work and picked the magazine up. I feel your pain as a fellow Mazda owner, it was a great looking car.11th September 2013, 17:34 at 5:34 pm #241654
Oh God. I wish I hadn’t looked at those images. Disturbing.11th September 2013, 19:46 at 7:46 pm #241655
I was given a copy of “Top Gear 100 Maddest cars” as a birthday present.
number 35 is the Furai with the following statement.
“Mazda built a single Furai, a car that mysteriously disappeared off the face of the planet just a few months later….”
well less of a mystery now!11th September 2013, 20:23 at 8:23 pm #241656
*sniff*12th September 2013, 8:02 at 8:02 am #241657
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.12th September 2013, 8:15 at 8:15 am #241658
I spent half of yesterday weeping in a corner. the Furai has to be my favourite concept car ever, and it is great fun to drive in video games, where thankfully it will live on and can be driven by more than one person at a time!12th September 2013, 9:31 at 9:31 am #241659
Maybe what we need is a Mazda Furai GT5 commemoration race one evening – grid full of Furais, 24 laps of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I’d say 55 laps but ain’t nobody got time for that..12th September 2013, 9:44 at 9:44 am #241660
I’d be happy for that. I loved that car!
Thursday night is good for me.12th September 2013, 9:45 at 9:45 am #241661
@mazdachris ain’t nobody got time for that? pfft… part timers!
I’ve found a blog post about the whole incident too:12th September 2013, 10:12 at 10:12 am #241662
Genuinely saddened by this news! The Furai is such a gorgeous thing, the world is a worse place without it.
I’m going to be driving my B&H Jordan liveried Furai “Furaiously” on Forza tonight as a tribute. :)12th September 2013, 10:17 at 10:17 am #241663
That picture is like a knife in my heart :(
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