More info and a huge batch of photos to share of the very-exciting Yamaha Sports Ride concept from Tokyo! But, frustratingly, no actual engine specs or performance to share.
What we know know is definitely enough to wet the lips: a 1500-pound, mid-engine sports coupe embracing motorbike fun as well as mass-production pricing.
Sounds promising, yes? Of course!
Likely to be powered by a high-strung four-cylinder engine to back wheels via a paddle-shift automatic transmission, the Sports Ride concept is not just a flight of fancy from Yamaha. Yamaha’s precision engineering skills are well-known globally, with a built-in distribution network also part of the motorcycle, ATV, snow- and water-craft empire.
These smarties are also behind the scenes making the Lexus LF-A’s chassis and engine, it is worth remembering. Among their dozens of other automotive specialist roles, of course.
The design and purity of the carbon-fiber concept is beautiful yet also ‘elemental,’ as Yamaha describes it. The general meaning is that every piece will be a thing of beauty. Combined, they form a purity of purpose that becomes beautiful. Just look inside this saddle-leather and carbon interior for evidence!
Beneath the fairly polarizing nose look, there is serious genius at play. This is the latest step in Yamaha’s commercializion of the Gordon Murray Design iStream production system. The goal is to make CF vehicle assembly a simple and low-capital offering… versus massive industrial stamping presses, etc in normal auto plants.
Following the MOTIV city car, the Sports Ride is obviously a passionate return to form for Gordon Murray, McLaren F1 engineer and entreprenier.
We sincerely hope the Sports Ride makes production. Practically speaking, the vehicle would compete closely with the 2016 Mazda MX-5 or Subari BR-Z. Both of those cars kiss $30k in their most loaded forms… so quite affordable in their own right. In price and spirit, the Alfa Romeo 4C might be a more apt competitor.
Would the Sports Ride Concept be as cool in a cut-price, production trim — excluding most of the tasty exposed-carbon exterior and posh cabin?
That is a great question! We certainly would love to hoon around full-throttle corners in it regardless.
2015 YAMAHA Sports Ride Concept
Would it be possible to build a car that is fun to drive in the same ways a motorcycle is exciting to ride? As a further evolution of our multi-wheeled vehicles, Yamaha is currently developing a compact 4-wheeled automobile based on a new concept unlike anything before. One of the vehicle’s most distinctive features is the lightweight, high-rigidity, high-strength frame based on the iStream®* process that reflects ideals used for Formula One racing cars. iStream® makes it possible to build a range of variations based on this one platform, from urban commuter cars to sports cars and SUVs, covering a wide variety of uses and different types of driving enjoyment. Since revealing the MOTIV prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013, we have been making steady development progress toward models for production and commercialization. We hope you look forward to the day when you can get behind the wheel.
A challenge to reconfirm its identity for a company that has continued to create Kando through many forms of mobility.
Attention to design and free form made possible by the iStream* structure. Each and every detail with a uniqueness of Yamaha. Together creating a sports car with two opposing elements of tradition and innovation.
“Sports Ride Concept”
A design study model of a new sports car, for a mature audience who knows the essence.*iStream: A process developed by Gordon Murray Design Limited to produce lightweight, high-rigidity vehicle structures rooted in Formula One technology
Elementalism design, where each part is complete on its own, while establishing overall harmony.
It expresses the beauty of “the one and the whole” which shares with Yamaha motorcycles.
A new sensation of driving unlike any other cars.
Designed to express the driver-machine relationship close in feeling to motorcycle riding, by placing the rider, machine and the environment in Yamaha style, achieving an exhilarating driving sensation.
The origin of Yamaha craftsmanship lies the insatiable pursuit of the true essence of design.
Attention to materials and processes in every detail are also followed through in this model.
Feel the uniqueness of Yamaha resting in every part of the vehicle.
|Chassis||carbon fibre monocoque|
|Weight||750 kilo / 1,654 lbs|
|Length / Width / Height||3,900 mm (153.5 in) / 1,720 mm (67.7 in) / 1,170 mm (46.1 in)|
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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