Mazda will present at the New York International Auto Show the Furai Concept and the 2009 RX-8 sports-car.

The Furai takes Mazda’s unique Nagare (Japanese for “flow”) design language a step further as it is translated into a concept car based on an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car. 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.

The 2009 RX-8 will further the evolution of the four-door, four-seater sports coupe, giving RX-8 a refreshed exterior and interior design, enhanced performance and a new R3 sport package for the ultimate driving enthusiast. Unchanged is the core of the RX-8 – a high-powered, lightweight and perfectly balanced machine powered by the world-renowned twin-rotor RENESIS rotary engine.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

The Mazda booth at the Jacob Javits Convention Center will be a very popular destination during this year’s auto show. Mazda will show off its newest concept car, the Mazda Furai, and the freshened 2009 Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), to be held in New York from Wednesday, March 19 through Sunday, March 30, 2008.

MAZDA FURAI –‘SOUND OF WIND’

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 Mazda Furai (Japanese for “sound of the wind” and pronounced “foo-rye”) is the sort of car that could only come from a company that incorporates the “Soul of a Sports Car” into everything it builds, but with an eye toward the future and the environment. Furai was tuned to run on 100% ethanol, and the company’s partnership with BP will see future and renewable fuels jointly developed.

Furai takes Mazda’s unique Nagare (Japanese for “flow”) design language a step further as it is translated into a concept car based on an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car. 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.

Says Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda’s North American director of design, “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.”

Mazda’s critically acclaimed Nagare design language describes the flow of water, air, people or things moving in one direction. Mazda Nagare is flow, with an insightful and spirited styling, which, in Mazda Furai, invokes a raw, unfettered desire to possess everything this car represents.

2009 MAZDA RX-8

The 2009 Mazda RX-8 continues to be a “Sports Car like no other,” and shows that the rotary engine is still an important part of Mazda’s future. For 2009, Mazda will further the evolution of the four-door, four-seater sports coupe, giving RX-8 a refreshed exterior and interior design, enhanced performance and a new R3 sport package for the ultimate driving enthusiast. Unchanged is the core of the RX-8 – a high-powered, lightweight and perfectly balanced machine powered by the world-renowned twin-rotor RENESIS rotary engine.

Since its launch in 2003, the Mazda RX-8 has been hailed as a genuine sports car, but with a totally new, four-door, four-seat format that delivers sports car values, passenger comfort and driving pleasure. Powered by the world’s only mass-produced rotary engine, 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.

CX-9 AND THE FULL MAZDA LINEUP

In addition to Furai and the 2009 RX-8, Mazda will display the full 2008 lineup of cars and SUVs. Of particular interest will be the Mazda CX-9, one of the most award-winning and successful vehicles in Mazda’s history. CX-9 was recently named the 2008 North American Truck of the Year award, along with the 2008 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year. Media is not alone in recognizing the vehicle. Launched in 2007, the award-winning CX-9 recorded sales of 25,566 in just ten months. Combined with the awards and attention it has garnered, the CX-9 proves that it is truly best in class.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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