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Mazda Furai brings Nagare closer to reality

Mazda shows off the Furai concept car at the 2008 Detroit auto show.

The Mazda Furai concept
The Mazda Furai concept shows off the Nagare theme. CNET Networks/Sarah Tew

For the past year, we've seen various Mazda concepts expressing the Nagare, or flow, theme, including the Ryuga, Hakaze, and Taiki. But the Furai, shown at the 2008 Detroit auto show, gives real hints of Mazda's production plans. The Furai uses flow lines around the hood and in the side vents, but the wheels are mounted conventionally. Mazda says that the Furai is a study intended to bridge the gap between road and race cars. The Furai is built on a chassis used in Mazda endurance racers, and uses a three rotary engine putting out 450 horsepower, which should give this little car an excellent power-to-weight ratio. In a nod toward practicality, Mazda modified the engine to run on ethanol blends all the way up to E100. While we would like to take a Furai down our favorite roads, the car is just a study. We still have to wait for a real Nagare car from Mazda.

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