Yamaha has announced that it will showcase a new design concept at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, displaying continued interest in producing their first road car.
While the Japanese bike maker describes the concept only as an “automobile”, it is thought to be a two-seater sportscar built using the iStream manufacturing process that was created by McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray.
The brand has been talking about launching a proper road-going car since it revealed the Motiv city car concept in 2013. The Sports Ride Concept that was showcased in 2015 may provide hints to the design concept scheduled to arrive in Tokyo later this month.
Every previous concept car by Yamaha has been built using Murray’s iStream manufacturing process. This allows for the extensive use of carbon-fibre for lower production costs in high-volume cars.
The volume of the cars being produced and investment required is proportional to the cost of producing a chassis. However, speaking to our sister publication Autocar UK, Murray said that the system can be employed profitably for production volumes between 1,000 and 3,50,000 cars.
The mid-engined concept, which is expected with a coupe-like design and is expected to match the Smart Roadster in size, is understood to weigh less than 900kg.
Yamaha is likely to power the model with a turbocharged, three-cylinder, 1.0-litre unit based on the engine first shown with the Yamaha Motiv. The Motiv’s motor put out about 76hp, but we expect a figure nearing 100hp for the sportscar.
It is understood that Yamaha is still undecided on whether their first car will be based on the Motiv or the new sports car. The brand’s first road-going car will be produced in Europe.