Though I don't want to trivialize the significance of the loss of human life, I have to say that it seems the Mazda Furai struck quite a chord with many gearheads.
The only reason we know that is because it was recently reported that it bit the dust back in 2008 while in the hands of Top Gear magazine.
Top Gear recently posted about the vehicle's demise — we've been wondering why the Furai hasn't been seen in quite some time — and Road and Track spoke with a team member from Mazda's SoCal-based design team that provided support.
The conversation, as one would expect, is somber and reflective. But it's clear that when Top Gear posted this item the news spread like wildfire. That doesn't happen with every car.
To me I think it's clear that many people liked the Furai for a variety of reasons:
1) It was a functional vehicle with a working Wankel rotory engine producing 450 horsepower.
2) It featured an jaw-dropping and incredible design, end-to-end. Not all concepts are created equally.
It's a real shame too. It's rare that a vehicle conceptualized out of thin air can harmonize so many people. Unfortunately, this one will be retired to the history books for good.
Check out the full interview with a Mazda team member but beware: it seems that R&T didn't do its diligence and there is a conflict with who actually did what when it comes to the Furai's design.