The Yamaha Sports Ride Concept gives a glimpse of a light weight sports car to come from Yamaha that is planning to expand into car manufacturing.
Predominantly a two-wheeler maker, Yamaha has over time hinted towards its plans to enter the car manufacturing space and giving a striking glimpse of the same is the Sports Ride Concept revealed at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show. Retaining the key attributes of the Yamaha brand, the automaker has developed the sports car concept in collaboration with Gordon Murray (the man that designed the iconic McLaren F1) and is based on the latter’s new variation of the iStream manufacturing system created using new age carbon fibre technology.
The new Sports Ride Concept is Yamaha’s dig at creating an ultra-light four wheeler that is powerful and frugal. The concept measures 3900 mm in length, 1720 mm in width and 1170 mm in height, and tips the scales at just 770 kgs. The light weight comes courtesy of the Gordon Murray’s iStream manufacturing process which now has seen glass fibre being replaced with carbon fibre, as the latter offers better rigidity and lighter weight.
The construction on the Yamaha Sports Ride Concept comprises of a carbon fibre tub that sees two carbon skins being wrapped around a paper honeycomb core. The automaker has been mum about the powertrain but the sports car is expected to pack the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that was first showcased on the Yamaha Motiv concept back in 2013. While the motor was tuned for 80 HP on the Motiv, power on the Sports Ride will be bumped up to 100 HP. While that may not sound much on paper, factor in the kerb weight and the concept offers an overwhelming power-to-weight ratio.
Inside the cabin, the Yamaha Sports Ride Concept is all premium and fancy with the leather wrapped sports seats, inserts on the dashboard, carbon fibre finished elements and aviation styled gauges. In terms of aesthetics, the concept does not look too far-fetched and feels quite close to production. That said, it is still not clear as to when will Yamaha put its car manufacturing plans into effect.