In an industry where gaudy supercars are released to convention halls full of jaded, cynical journalists, it's rare that a single car can captivate an audience the way that the Mazda Furai did. When it made its debut at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, it became a critical darling for its striking design, aggressive stance and intricate attention to detail.

The love fest was further magnified by the fact that the Furai wasn't just a concept car—it was a purebred runner. So it's no surprise that when Top Gear Magazine released a photo of the Mazda Furai concept reduced to a smoldering pile of ashes, the Internet mourned.

Carlos Salaff was a senior designer at Mazda and part of the team responsible for exterior design development on the Furai. I caught up with him to talk about the Furai and his reactions to the Top Gear photo.

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