Yamaha has a long and distinguished career in the automotive world. It was an integral part of the Toyota 2000 GT that starred in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice in 1967. Its prowess at building high revving motors brought it into contact with Ford in the 80’s, when it was tapped to assemble the high performance V-6 engine that first appeared in the Taurus SHO. It has also been involved with Gordon Murray in the Motiv city car that appeared at the Tokyo motor show 2 years ago.
The Motiv used Murray’s proprietary iStream carbon fiber construction, which bonds two thin carbon fiber layers around a honeycomb core. Murray says the result is a strong, lightweight chassis that can be manufactured for far less than the cost of a traditional carbon fiber shell. According to Car And Driver, the Gordon Murray Design iStream is “the first affordable high-volume carbon-fiber chassis structure, bringing Formula 1 materials and technology within reach of the everyday motorist.”
Yamaha says the two seater Sports Ride Concept sports car is “designed to express a driver-machine relationship close in feeling to the world of motorcycle riding.” Gizmag say the concept is approximately the size of a Mazda Miata but weighs a scant 1,653 pounds. That’s about 900 pounds less that Mazda’s popular roadster. Powered by any number of zippy Yahama motorcycle engines, the Sports Ride Concept could offer scintillating handling designed to excite the passions of any driver who is not a ham fisted amateur.
Yamaha has declined to give any details about what engine it has in mind for the car or whether it even intends to produce it. Often, auto shows are used to gauge reaction from the public and members of the press before proceeding to examine whether a business case can be made for putting a car into production. Concept cars are also used to showcase a company’s talents. Sometimes there is more money to be made being a specialty supply house than in building an entire car yourself.
In this case, enthusiasts are hoping this car gets built no matter who takes credit for manufacturing it. To paraphrase a line from a famous movie, “If you build it, they will come!”