Mazda Furai Concept.. WOW!!

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by dieselstation, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. dieselstation

    dieselstation New Member

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    i've been having doubts with some of Mazda's concept cars lately.. but that just totally went away after seeing this thing. HOLY SHIT.

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    What is it?
    Mazda Furai Concept

    What's special about it?
    Remember Mazda's overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991? The rotor-heads at Mazda sure do, and they created the Furai as a reminder of that accomplishment. Half concept car dreamery, half prototype racer, the Furai is less a car than a statement of Mazda's intention to re-enter the fabled endurance race at some undisclosed time, presumably in the near future.

    Translating literally to "sound of wind," which we're certain is not intended to recall dinner with the Klumps, the Furai (say foo-RYE) is capable of making noise. The basis of the Furai is a 2005 Courage C65 chassis — itself formerly an LMP2-class entry in the American Le Mans Series — that Mazda reskinned in the style of its Nagare concept car. It's the fifth such design exercise as Mazda works to develop a new design language for the future, preceded by the Nagare, Ryuga, Hakaze and Taiki concepts. The company remains mum on when these design cues will finally take root in a production car.

    The Furai's aggressive lines are the product of Mazda's studio in Southern California led by North American design boss Franz Von Holzhausen. Further developed by the prodigious brainpower of the racecar wizards at Swift Engineering, the Furai has been shaped with an eye toward function as well as form. Swift worked concurrently with Mazda's design team and performed computational fluid dynamics to ensure the concept wouldn't take flight and made sure the hot-running rotary had proper cooling.

    Considering the Furai has never seen a wind tunnel, its ability to generate about 80 percent of the downforce of the original race-spec bodywork is respectable indeed. In fact, Mike Page of Swift Engineering is confident that the Furai could be made fully competitive without wholesale changes: "The overall form is solid. As it sits, it's a happy medium between form and function."

    Most concept cars don't run. Heck, most of them don't even have engines. By contrast, the Furai is a runner, a point that Mazda was keen to emphasize by wedging us into the cockpit for a couple of hot laps around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca piloted by ALMS ace Jamie Bach. There's barely space for a second person in the tight cabin of the former racecar, which sports a passenger seat only because class rules demand it.

    Powered by a mid-mounted, three-rotor Mazda 20B rotary engine fueled by E100 ethanol, the Furai generates around 450 horsepower. As expected, it's rapid. Even without its aerodynamic front splitter (a measure to prevent damage to this one-off showcar), the cornering grip is substantial, while even earplugs can't control the crescendo of sound from the rotary engine. Bach kept things tidy and clean in the corners, as the Furai we're sharing is the same one that will occupy the stage at the Detroit auto show.

    In addition to advice about the bodywork, Swift also contributed an innovative intake configuration. Unlike a traditional F1-style snorkel, the Furai breathes through a shallow, leaflike cup known informally as an "air fang." It looks something like the bow of a boat, rising proud of the roof in order to breathe relatively clean, turbulence-free air that has not been de-energized by the boundary layer. As the air rushes past, twin vortices on either side of the device are generated, which then dump fresh air directly down the intake without incurring the efficiency losses of a traditional snorkel. It's an elegant solution in keeping with the Furai's design theme.

    The Furai sounds sensational at full cry. As we exited Turn 11 onto the main straight with the sound of the rotary exhaust reverberating off the concrete pit wall, the effect was not of a lone car, but instead an entire field of endurance racers. With the Furai, Mazda is suggesting that this aural deception will soon become a reality as it moves to join Acura and Porsche in an assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    What's Edmunds' take?
    It's fit for neither road-car duty nor true motorsports competition, but that's not the point. The Furai provides a glimpse of both Mazda's future design direction and its motorsports intent. — Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


    http://www.edmunds.com/insidel....html
     
  2. DaMonsta

    DaMonsta Turnin' whores to carivores, they can't leave my m OT Supporter

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    rotory power ftl
     
  3. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Goddamn, they need to get that designer away from the demon hentai. That shit be beastial, yo.

    Glad to see they're getting back in the spotlight. People shit on Mazda all the time, but they really do build some damn nice cars. Take this guy for example:
    Idiot.

    Yeah, who wants a simple, easy-to-maintain engine that can run a whole season before needing a rebuild? Fuck that shit.
     
  4. Sarge21

    Sarge21 Frau am Steuer Ungeheuer!

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    ib10gal/milecomments
     
  5. GTSlow

    GTSlow New Member

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    looks like the driver sits pretty far forward. scares the piss out of me
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Puts you closer to where the action happens. It's hard to accurately steer a car when the steering is far away from you. Up close to the front, you'll feel all the various G-forces and you'll be able to drive better because of it.
     
  7. DINide

    DINide New Member

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  8. NSX

    NSX OT Supporter

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    none yo'
    That about says it right there. :mamoru:
     
  9. theabsence

    theabsence New Member

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    Needs pictures in 1900 x 1280.
     
  10. theabsence

    theabsence New Member

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    91 Le Mans winner, only Japanese auto manufacturer to do so.

    /thread

    Oh, and heavy restrictions placed on rotaries now that they're allowed back in... :hsugh:
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It's a racecar engine, you dumb shit. All the other Le Mans cars needed rebuilds right after the race was over. The 787B didn't.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    What are the restrictions now?
     
  13. maxlt1

    maxlt1 New Member

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    nothing wrong with rotary :slap:

    this thing looks like an RC car though :o
     
  14. theabsence

    theabsence New Member

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    Good question, I've asked around and never got a straight answer. I've even asked on the rotary forums too.
     
  15. E-dub

    E-dub New Member

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    I think it looks awesome.

    Rotary as NA is fine for reliability. Just not very fuel efficient.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I wonder how much of that could be resolved by wrapping the engine in insulation. I mean, the reason rotaries get crappy mileage is because the combustion chamber has a lot of surface area compared to its displacement, so a lot of energy gets wasted as heat, but since the block is so small, the cooling system should be able to handle managing the temperature of the block even if the block were encased in foot-thick styrofoam. (Ignore the melting point of styrofoam, that's not the point here.)
     
  17. E-dub

    E-dub New Member

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    No, because heat does not make power nor does it translate into compression. It would actually run worse due to detonation. That is just an inherent design flaw of the rotary.

    If reintroduced, the Mazda car would still fall prey to Audi's diesel.
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    (sigh)

    1. The Renesis engine has 10:1 compression, just like small 4-cylinder piston engines do.

    2. Of course heat makes power. Heat from combustion causes the pressure of the exhaust gases to increase, which forces the rotor to rotate into a position that allows the exhaust gases to expand and cool off. Heat that is absorbed by the block before the exhaust gases can expand is lost energy that can't be recaptured. Hence my speculation about ways that the engine block could be insulated to prevent heat from escaping so easily -- but of course, there would still have to be a way to dissipate enough heat to prevent detonation, as you noted. I dunno; if I had the answer I'd be getting paid a lot of money by Mazda, not spraying myself on a forum.
     
  19. E-dub

    E-dub New Member

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    1. I am not arguing the compression of the Renesis motor.

    2. I know what you are talking about here; harnessing the heat to super-expand the air in the combustion chamber to allow for a more violent movement of the crank instead of wasting it through conduction through the block. I honestly do not think enough heat is wasted through the block to make the power loss overcome the efficiency gained by the heat loss.
     
  20. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Why is the commonly-accepted explanation for rotaries' poor gas mileage that they lose a lot of heat through the rotor housings, then? I mean, if there's a better explanation I'm open to it, but heat loss seems the only plausible explanation. There's almost no mechanical inefficiency in a rotary engine, due to the small number of moving parts.
     

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