Although it isn’t the first collaboration between motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha, and F1 designer Gordon Murray, Yamaha’s Tokyo Motor Show concept, the Sports Ride certainly looks more promising than the earlier Motiv.e city car.
The idea of a motorcycle builder branching into building cars is nothing new, Honda, Suzuki, and BMW have all made a decent go of it, and even back in the early 1990’s Yamaha toyed with the idea of a V12 powered supercar based on its own F1 engine of the time.
This time around however, Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray has penned a lightweight two-seater, based on the principles of his weight saving low-cost iStream production methods, combining a high-strength steel frame with bonded composite panels.
Yamaha promises the Sports Ride concept offers the same thrills as riding a motorcycle, in a slightly more practical (and weather resistant) package. Vehicle weight is a remarkable 750kg, making even the 1009kg kerb weight of the new MX-5 seem porky in comparison.
There’s no word on powertrain yet, but despite looking like a scaled-down Pagani, the Sport Ride is more likely to employ a more modest powertrain. The iStream platform’s flexibility also lends itself to the possibility of electric propulsion.
There’s also the tantalising prospect of adapting a highly-strung motorcycle engine, not to mention Yamaha’s history of developing high-rpm performance motors for Toyota and Lexus over the years, but with the total package just a whisker smaller than an MX-5, don’t expect the LFA’s V10 to slot in easily.