According to reports from the Tokyo Motor Show Yamaha has announced preliminary plans to produce the Motiv, a lightweight, two-seater similar to a Smart car. The Motiv is apparently based on Gordon Murray Design‘s T25 and T27 concept cars and will apparently use Murray’s iStream assembly process. Sources say the vehicle is targeted for the European market and will be available in both electric as well as fossil fuel versions.
The Motiv concept still needs approval of Yamaha brass but the car has been reportedly engineered over the past 15 months with discussions between Yamaha and Gordon Murray Designs going back as far as 2008.
Murray’s iStream looks to replace stamped metal, spot welded automobile construction with a simplified chassis assembly process where the powertrain, wiring harnesses, brakes, suspension and all major components are fitted onto the chassis prior to the body panels being installed. The pre-painted body panels are then fixed to the completed chassis near the end of the assembly process.
“Forming a partnership with Yamaha is a dream for us,” says Gordon Murray. “Yamaha has completely embraced the principles of iStream, and could not be a more ideal partner. They have huge technical resources, but their team on this project has been tightly-knit, very skilled and very quick-acting.”
The Motiv is as long as a Smart car but approximately two inches narrower and 2.5 inches lower and about 220 pounds lighter. The car’s exterior is constructed of non-load-bearing, impact-resistant plastic that is claimed to resist minor damage better than steel or aluminum, and is easily replaced. The Motiv’s styling owes its looks to the GMD-Yamaha design team.
“This is Yamaha’s car, not ours,” says Gordon Murray, “and it is up to them to decide whether it goes into production. But they’re fabulous partners, and we are very optimistic for the car’s prospects.”
When it comes to cars Yamaha produced the OX00-11 prototype in the early ’90s and the concept R-Car, both of which never reached production, but is better known for actually producing automotive power plants such as various engines for Toyota and Ford.