The Mazda Furai was revealed on 27 December 2007. A teaser image of the vehicle was released on 11 December 2007 and the Furai officially debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Furai, meaning "sound of the wind", was the fifth and last of the Mazda Nagare line of concept cars that have been made by Mazda since 2006. The chassis was based on the Courage Compétition C65 Le Mans Prototype that Mazda last used to compete in the American Le Mans Series, two seasons previously and was designed to use E100 ethanol fuel. It was powered by a new generation 20B 3-rotor wankel engine producing 450bhp. The engine was developed and built by renowned rotary tuner, Racing Beat, who also built the car's rotary-shaped muffler canister.
The car wore the number 55, that of its 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning ancestor, the 787B. Unlike many concept cars, the Furai was fully functional and was tested at various tracks. It ran at Laguna Seca and Buttonwillow.
The head designer, Laurens van den Acker, had stated in an interview with Top Gear magazine that there would have been possibilities of the Furai being used for racing in Le Mans, and he also had strong hopes that the car could be brought to the market.
In September 2013, it was revealed that the car had been destroyed by fire during road tests by Top Gear in 2008. On November 29, 2013, Top Gear was given the opportunity to make the story about the Furai's demise public. It was explained that the vehicle caught on fire during a photography session at Bentwaters Parks on August 19, 2008, at 11:52 am. The location of the charred remains of the Furai is still unknown to this day.