Motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha has revealed a new four-wheel design study at this year’s Tokyo motor show dubbed ‘Sports Ride Concept’.
Weighing in at 750 kg, the two-seater measures 3,900 mm long, 1,720 mm wide, and 1,170 mm tall. While ex-Toyota designer Dezi Nagaya was put in charge of exterior styling, the car’s underpinnings are based on an iStream chassis developed by British car designer, Gordon Murray.
The concept car sees the first use of Murray’s new ‘iStream Carbon’ system, which replaces the glass content in iStream with carbon-fibre.
The newly-designed chassis structure uses two carbon skins sandwiching a honeycomb core, unlike some expensive handmade supercars which employ monolithic, single skin carbon panels.
Claimed to be the world’s first affordable high volume carbon-fibre chassis, Murray says both iStream and iStream Carbon can cater with annual production volumes between 1,000 and 350,000 units per year at a cycle time of 100 seconds.
“Light weighting is the final frontier in the automotive industry fight to lower emissions,” he said. “There have been great strides forward in engine design, electrical control systems, tyre design and transmission technology, but we are now experiencing a plateau in the advance of technology where the law of diminishing returns comes into play.
“A step change in vehicle weight to enable downsizing of powertrain and components is all we have left in the armoury. Light weighting is important for internal combustion engined cars, but even more important for hybrids and electric vehicles.”
The Sports Ride Concept follows in the footsteps of the MOTIV.e city car design study that was unveiled back at the Tokyo motor show in 2013, and which was also developed in partnership with Murray.