It’s not often we get to write about Yamaha products – that’s usually left to TopSpeed’s motorcycle page. Today is different, though, as the Japanese bike-builder release its newest four-wheeled creation at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
Though details are rather scarce, the photos and a touch of speculation provide a look into what Yamaha may deliver in the future. Meet the Sport Ride Coupe concept.
Yamaha says the design follows its iStream philosophy of a oneness between the driver and machine. The Sport Ride Coupe concept is built to mimic the feeling of riding a motorcycle, but with an enclosed cockpit and four tires on the ground.
But what speaks volumes about the car’s design is actually its philosophical designer. It was none other than legendary racer Gordon Murray who pioneered the iStream concept of design – the same guy who designed the McLaren F1. Look closely and you’ll even see hints of the F1 in the Yamaha’s profile.
The Sports Ride Coupe concept has a footprint roughly the size of Mazda’ s latest MX-5, though the Yamaha makes the Miata look like a porky block of concrete. At 2,332 pounds, the MX-5 is a full 679 pounds heavier. That’s a 1,653-pound curb weigh for those mathematically challenged.
There’s no word on what powers the Yamaha, but I suspect its something out of a sports bike. Only time will tell, though.
For now, check out all the details and photos of Yamaha’s latest creation.
The Sports Ride Coupe concept is very futuristic in its design while pulling in a couple cues from other places in the industry. The front, especially in the headlights, looks like Alfa Romeo. The side profile is unmistakably Gordon Murray and takes after the McLaren F1. The rear even pulls in a McLaren feel, though in the form of the modern 675 LT.
Large glass and a blacked-out roof pillar make the vehicle’s center of gravity seem even lower. The side mirrors ride on long stems, both to help aerodynamics and to better rearward visibility. Lightweight wheels and sticky tires are likely in the mix, though I can only judge from the photos.
|Length||3,900 MM (153.54 Inches)|
|Width||1,720 MM (67.71 Inches)|
|Height||1,170 MM (46.06 Inches)|
Yamaha might be known for their motorcycles and ATVs, but wow, its designers know how to make a Lotus-like interior. The saddle-colored leather has impressive stitching and detail work all over, and is nicely contrasted by bright and satin-colored chrome and aluminum bits.
Being of such a sporty nature, the driver’s seat is more race-ready than the passenger’s. Stiffer side bolsters, a center track-mount system, and a serious head restrain show just how purpose-built the Sports Ride Coupe is. The passenger’s seat seems built merely for transporting an extra person to and from the racetrack. A small luggage shelf resides behind the passenger’s seat with two leather straps for securing cargo. That’s old-school cool.
Yamaha has been quiet on what powers the Sports Ride Coupe concept. However, some rumors suggest an electric powertrain while others go so far as predicting a fuel cell.
To put it bluntly, I think that’s wrong.
It’s odd to think Yamaha would forego its wide selection of motorcycle powerplants is has. Similarly, Honda’ s recent Project 2&4 showed that a 999 cc V-4 four-stroke engine works masterfully in an ultra lightweight vehicle. Honda’s open-top roadster put down 212 horsepower and 87 pound-feet of torque to the ground through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
What’s more, did you notice those rather large and motorcycle-esque exhaust pipes protruding from its rear deck?
Though the Sports Ride Coupe concept is heavier than the Honda Project 2&4, and an assumed less-impressive power-to-weight ratio, the Yamaha should still provide excellent performance numbers. The sprint to 60 mph should take around 4.5 seconds and have a top speed well over 150 mph. Of course, all that is just speculation.
It’s interesting to see Yamaha step away from its usual forte to dabble in a four-wheeled, road-going machine. Whether or not Yamaha moves the concept into production is yet unseen, but the company would have many hurtles to jump over in order to make that happen.
Either way, the Sports Ride Coupe concept is a fantastic looking machine that begs to be built. Its light weight, seductive exterior, and minimalistic interior make it worthy of a bedroom poster. Nicely done, Yamaha.
- Fantastically beautiful
- Gorgeous interior
- A motorcycle powertrain?
- No major details
- Not likely to enter production
This design concept mode takes a uniquely Yamaha approach by putting the involved and active feeling of riding a motorcycle, or “Live and Ride,” into a vehicle with quintessential sports car proportions that adults can enjoy in daily use. Like the MOTIV (displayed at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013), it employs the iStream* process and is designed to express a driver-machine relationship close in feeling to the world of motorcycle riding. 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.
■Length×Width×Height: 3,900 mm×1,720 mm×1,170 mm ■ Vehicle weight: 750 kg ■Seating capacity: 2
*iStream: A process developed by Gordon Murray Design Limited to produce lightweight, high-rigidity vehicle structures rooted in Formula One technology