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December 12, 2007

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Mazda Furai Concept and new Mazda RX-8 to make World Debut at 2008 North American International Auto Show

Hiroshima, Japan - Mazda Motor Corporation will showcase the world premieres of the Mazda Furai concept vehicle and the heavily revised new Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), to be held in Detroit from Sunday, January 13 through Sunday, January 27, 2008.

On the heels of its show-stopping debut at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show in October, the Mazda Taiki concept vehicle also will make its North American debut, the first time it has been shown outside Japan. Additionally, Mazda will have a special display of racecars on its stand during the press days, and the full lineup of production cars for consumers to sample on the public days.

Mazda Furai –‘Sound of the wind’

Inspired by the fact that, on any given weekend, there are more Mazdas and Mazda-powered cars road-raced in the United States than any other brand, the Mazda 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 British Petroleum (BP).

Furai takes Mazda’s unique Nagare (Japanese for “flow”) design language a step further as it is translated into a concept car based on an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car. The car utilizes the Courage C65 chassis the company campaigned in the ALMS series only two seasons ago, and the 450-hp three-rotor rotary engine that distinguishes it from anything else on the track.

Says Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda’s North American director of design, “Furai purposely blurs boundaries that have traditionally distinguished street cars from track cars. Historically, there has been a gap between single-purpose racecars and street-legal models — commonly called supercars — that emulate the real racers on the road. Furai bridges that gap like no car has ever done before.”

Mazda’s critically acclaimed Nagare design language describes the flow of water, air, people or things moving in one direction. Mazda Nagare is flow, with an insightful and spirited styling, which, in Mazda Furai, invokes a raw, unfettered desire to possess everything this car represents.

New Mazda RX-8

Sporting a freshened design, improved handling, acceleration, quality and features, the new Mazda RX-8 continues to be a “Sports Car like no other,” and shows that the rotary engine is still an important part of Mazda’s future. Since its launch in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 has been hailed as a genuine sports car, but with a totally new, four-door, four-seat format that delivers sports car values, passenger comfort and driving pleasure. Powered by the world’s only mass-produced rotary engine, RX-8 is the spiritual successor to the 1967 Cosmo 110S, the world’s first twin-rotor production car. With almost two-million rotary engines sold, and the company’s legendary win at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans – the only Japanese brand to ever win the endurance racing classic – the rotary engine is the sole preserve of Mazda.

Photo: Mazda

(Dec 12, 2007)


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