The tale of how the Mazda Furai concept was destroyed in 2008 is detailed in the October issue of Top Gear Magazine, which clarifies that the car actually caught fire accidentally and not in a crash or due to bad fuel.
While members of the magazine’s staff were reportedly test driving the Furai when it became engulfed in flames, that actually wasn’t the case.
A Jalopnik post quotes from an article by Top Gear’s Charlie Turner in which Turner explains that while taking photos of the car on the track, his photographer noticed “the Furai’s central exhaust spitting a thin cone of blue flames on downshifts… As [Mazda factory driver Mark Ticehurst] begins to slow for the turn and drops through the gears, things start to go wrong. The Furai is making a noise less Le Mans racer and more… fatally wounded elephant.”
In a matter of seconds, the Furai caught fire but Ticehurst didn’t notice and it was too little, too late. “Unsurprisingly, even a wounded, smoking Furai is faster than a people carrier,” Turner writes.
By the time fire crews arrived some eight minutes later and extinguished the flames, the Mazda Furai Concept was scorched to the ground.
Photo Credit: Top Gear