An Unlikely Concept Debut From An Unlikely Company Will Be On Display In Tokyo
Yamaha’s back with another automobile design concept!by Kirby Garlitos, on
The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show is going to be very eventful this year with many showcase pieces expected to be in attendance. There is one vehicle though that’s going to get a lot of attention, and all because it comes from a company that’s not necessarily known for building cars, let alone one of the concept variety. Yes, folks; Yamaha’s at it again. Two years after introducing the Sports Ride Concept in the same event, the noted motorcycle company is bringing another “automobile” to Tokyo.
The concept vehicle will be one of six world premieres that Yamaha is expected to unveil. All the others are typical scooters, motorcycles, an e-bike, and a futuristic motorcycle prototype that’s right up Yamaha’s alley. Now, I spent a good deal of time on the motorcycle scene here at TopSpeed, so I am curious about what Yamaha’s two-wheeled debuts are going to be. But, I will admit that I’m more curious about what Yamaha’s “automobile design concept” is going to be. Details are still scarce at this point, but it’s hard to look into what Yamaha unveiled two years ago and not think that there’s a possible connection between the Sports Ride prototype and whatever it is that the company is preparing to unveil at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Remember that lightweight piece of automotive goodness? Not only did it look like a proper concept car, but it actually had roots to the iStream design concept that was popularized by none other than Gordon Murray. I don’t know if this new concept will have similar roots, but you can be sure that I’m excited to find out.
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What does this mean for Yamaha?
There’s no way to think that the company can’t build a sports car if it really puts the time and effort into it
The worst thing we can do at this point is to get ahead of ourselves and start pining Yamaha to build a car. The Japanese company may have a diverse business portfolio that includes building car engines, but an actual sports car is something that it has yet to do. So, to think that Yamaha would just venture into the business would be asking a little too much out of it.
Or is it?
Here’s where my optimism lies about the possibility of a Yamaha-badged sports car hitting the road the soon, and it all goes back to the same wide reach of expertise that has put the company where it is today. You can argue that Yamaha has its hands on as many industries as any automaker in the world, including titans like Toyota, Volkswagen, and General Motors. There’s no way to think that the company can’t build a sports car if it really puts the time and effort into it. The question now is whether Yamaha thinks that it’s something worth doing.
If it did do it, don’t be surprised if a Yamaha car ends up being as good as I think it’s going to be. In the absence of what this new concept has in store for us, look no further than the prototype it unveiled two years ago.
One look at the Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept and you can immediately tell that it’s more than just a flashy showcase of Yamaha’s designers
One look at the Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept and you can immediately tell that it’s more than just a flashy showcase of Yamaha’s designers. Specific details about it point to a sports car that could really make some noise if the people behind it decide to bring it to life. First, there’s the concept’s weight of just 750 kilograms (1,653 pounds). Compare it to a similarly sized Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Sports Ride Coupe Concept weighs 679 pounds less than the almighty MX-5.
Take it a step further, and look at the concept’s measurements: 3,900 millimeters (153 inches) long, 1,720 mm (67.7 in.) wide, and 1,170 mm (46 in.) tall. It’s small and compact, exactly like a sports car should be. Compare it to the MX-5, and the numbers become even more interesting.
|Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept||3,900 millimeters (153 inches)||1,720 mm (67.7 in.)||1,170 mm (46 in.)|
|Mazda MX-5 Miata||3,945 mm(155.3 inches)||1,678 mm (66.1 inches)||1,228 mm (48.3 inches)|
Regardless of what Yamaha plans to do with this new concept car, it’s probably time for the rest of the auto industry to treat Yamaha as more than just a novelty in its circle. Maybe a Yamaha sports car is coming. At this point, it’s not hard to imagine the possibilities anymore.
Read our full review on the Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept
Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.