Yamaha Motor, the company known better for its motorcycles, revealed an exciting two-seat concept coupe at today’s Tokyo motor show called the Sports Ride Concept.
Billed as a design exercise for now, the Sports Ride Concept is said to take the “involved and active feeling of riding a motorcycle… into a vehicle with quintessential sports car proportions”.
Yamaha Motor is playing its cards close to its chest on much of the Sports Ride Concept’s specifications, though we know it weighs a tiny 750kg, and is 3.9-metres long — similar to the new Mazda MX-5.
It also uses an iStream carbon-fibre chassis/tub structure — a system developed by Gordon Murray Design to produce lightweight and rigid structures rooted in Formula One processes.
Gordon Murray Design bills iStream as "the world's first affordable high volume carbon fibre chassis structure bringing Formula One materials and technology within reach of the everyday motorist.
"iStream Carbon sets new standards in the Automotive industry for chassis light weighting, rigidity and safety."
The Yamaha's design is eye-catching, with highlights the F1-inspired nose and triangular rear light, plus the dual central exhaust outlets and the aero winglets astride the B-pillars.
The two-seater cabin also looks minimalist but rather upmarket, with modern and motorcycle-inspired gauges. There’s tasteful leather, steel and wood, and racecar-style pull tabs for door handles.
“We devoted much attention to the high-quality details and were inspired by the artistic style of Elementarism in designing this proposal for a sports car,” Yamaha said.
The engine featured is unclear, though a small and high-revving motorcycle unit would be the likely production unit — speculation suggests an uprated 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit. You wouldn’t need much power.
Our snoop inside the cabin on the show floor revealed only two pedals (in shiny alloy), meaning there’s some sort of conventional or maybe sequential automatic gearbox fitted.
As we know, Yamaha appears to be pushing into the four-wheeled market, with recent confirmation that it would launch the electric Motiv.e city car — also designed with Murray — in 2019, likely built in Europe.