Mazda will showcase the world premieres of the Mazda Furai concept vehicle and the revised 2009 Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show that kicked off on Sunday.
On the heels of its show-stopping debut at the 2007 Tokyo MotorShow in October, the Mazda Taiki concept vehicle also will make its North American debut, the first time it has been shown outside Japan, said the automaker in a statement.
The Mazda Furai, which means "sound of the wind" in Japanese, was built with an eye toward the future and the environment through the use of 100 percent ethanol produced in partnership with BP, said the statement.
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.
"Furai purposely blurs boundaries that have traditionally distinguished street cars from track cars. Historically, there has been a gap between single-purpose race cars and street-legal models -- commonly called super cars -- that emulate the real racers on the road. Furai bridges that gap like no car has ever done before," said Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda's North American director of design.
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. Ford Motor owns a controlling interest in Mazda.