The Cars That Money Can’t Buy – Mazda Furai

Sun 30th Dec 2018

Sometimes your wallet won’t stretch to purchasing your dream motor. But don’t worry too much, there are some cars that even the biggest bank balances can’t buy, the dream cars that will forever remain a dream. These are the concept cars that never go into production.

Mazda Furai
The Furai, which was officially debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, was Mazda’s fiercest sports car concept to come from the line of Nagare. Though we have to question the literal translation of Furai, which means ‘sound of the wind’.

The Nagare range of concepts was Mazda’s attempt to produce vehicles which incorporated natural and organic car design, though it’s arguable that there was very little organic about the Furai. The chassis was based on an earlier Le Mans prototype and came complete with livery which paid tribute to Mazda’s 1991 victory at the 24 Hour Classic at the French racetrack.

The Furai was designed to run on ethanol fuel and was powered by a wankel engine with 450bhp.

The car’s head designer, Laurens van den Acker, had told the press that there were strong possibilities for the Furai to be used for racing in future editions of the Le Mans race, and that he had strong hopes that Mazda’s supercar may be brought to market. But those hopes appear to have been dashed on one fateful test run in August 2008, when the car burst into flames as Top Gear’s TV show were putting the car through its paces at London’s Bentwaters Parks.

It wasn’t until five years later that the official news of the Furai’s demise became public knowledge, when it was revealed that Top Gear’s driver Mark Ticehurst was driving the Furai as it burst into flames. Due to the car’s location on the track, by the time the fire crews arrived the car was completely engulfed and the charred remains of the classic concept were shipped back to California.