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Mazda to Unveil Concept at Naias

The North American International Auto Show is about to take place in January next year. Automakers though are already announcing what vehicles can be expected on their stands come the big day. Japanese automaker Mazda announced recently that they will showcase, among others, two concept vehicles.

The first of the two and arguably the one many car enthusiasts are looking forward to is the world premiere of the Mazda Furai concept car. The Furai concept is one of the show stoppers at the Tokyo Motor Show held earlier. The NAIAS will be held in Detroit from Sunday, January 13 to Sunday, January 27 next year.

Apart from the Furai concept, the automaker will also unveil for the first out of Japan the Taiki concept, another vehicle which has made an impact at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. Both these concept vehicles are not expected to be mass produced by the automaker in the very near future. But with said vehicles, Mazda is showing to the auto industry the direction it would be taking.

Apart from the two concept vehicles, Mazda will also showcase a heavily revised new Mazda RX-8 sports car. Said vehicle has already captured the attention of performance enthusiasts in the United States and in other countries around the world.

According to the automaker's newsletter, the Furai concept is 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 Furai concept though is not al about speed and performance as it is also a green vehicle. Mazda designed the concept to run on ethanol fuel which when burned produces less greenhouse gases than petroleum gasoline.

Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda's North American director for design had this to say about the Furai concept: "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."

According to the automaker's newsletter, the Furai concept takes the Nagare (Japanese for "flow") design concept a step further. The Nagare design involves the use of smooth curves for better aerodynamics. Mazda made the Furai even more streamlined by modeling it after American Le Mans Series racing cars. The result of their effort is a vehicle with smooth lines, great performance, and green credential, plus, it is equipped with highly reliable auto parts, as durable as Mazda speed parts.

About The Author Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.
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