The last one
Mazda calls it the last of its line of new-age concepts that first began with the Nagare at the LA show in 2006, proceeding to the Ryuga in Detroit last year, the Hakaze in Geneva and the Taiki in Tokyo. With the Furai, the design language set by Laurens Van Den Acker completes a full circle. The fact that it took a Dutchman to remind the Japanese of their oriental design language is truly remarkable, just like the cars. The Furai is remarkable too. It’s based on a three year old, 450 bhp rotary-engined race chassis, but looks just as ready for 2008, as it is for 2010, 2012... (Okay, stop it! – Bijoy ). In fact from some angles, it reminds us of the McLaren F1 LM, which is not a bad thing actually. Now to see if it converts into a Mazda supercar or something for Le Mans in 2008 or ’09 or ’10...
Honda’s been lucky with diesels in Europe with the i-CTDi, but now they want to make a statement in the US with the i-Dtec. After all, Daimler have been toying with Bluetec for the American market, so it wouldn’t be long before others tried their hand too. With a 2009 stateside launch, Honda’s Acura division will be the lucky one to get the engine first. It is believed it will use piezoelectric injectors, but with no variable vane tech turbos. The engine might also feature a downstream NOx catalyst, instead of a urea injection system for reasons of cost. Cost engineering apart, it might also help Americans save a couple of greenbacks each year, thanks to the inherent efficiency of the common rail diesel.
Audi gains some TTS
Twin turbos are driving the Germans to new levels of madness. The BMW 135i and the Audi RS6 for instance . Now, they’ve taken their unassuming 2.0 FSI, dumped two turbos, plonked the new unit in the Audi TT, and made every other person who bought the 3.2 V6 TT feel cheated. They surely would, because the V6 produces just 250 bhp. Besides, the TTS can do 0-100 kph in 5.2 seconds, some 0.7 secs faster than the 3.2, and has a torque rating of 35.5 kgm. We like the fact that you wait for the turbos to spool up, then when you hit that sweet spot, bang, the power and torque curves decide to take you for a ride. Too bad Audi might avoid getting it to India, because it needs to be homologated. Drat!