The Yamaha Motiv concept could be used to lead a new family of small cars.

Yamaha is investigating numerous body styles, including a sleek sports car, for its potential launch into the road car market using Gordon Murray’s iStream system.

Although Yamaha officials made no reference to the image, it was shown on a video loop on the manufacturer’s stand following the launch of the Motiv concept at the Tokyo motor show.

Yamaha’s general manager of innovation, Masato Suzuki, confirmed different body styles were possible, while Murray said all body styles shown in the image could in theory be based on his platform.

“The manufacturing system allows for a longer vehicle, a wider vehicle and many other modifications, without significant additional costs,” said Suzuki. “The first step is to consider if the reaction is positive enough to put the car into production, but it is my hope and goal that it will be. I am pushing hard for that. After that decision is made, we must consider the body styles.”

Suzuki also confirmed that Yamaha would not have pursued a mainstream road car project unless it allowed it to demonstrate engineering innovation. “Gordon Murray is the perfect partner because he thinks in new ways, and that embodies the Yamaha way,” he said. “We would not enter the car market to build a car in the same way as everyone else. Yamaha does not think like that, and nor does Murray.”

It was also confirmed that the car has been engineered to meet all global standards, including those in Europe. “Downsizing is a global trend, and this car encapsulates that.

"The time is right for us to take mobilisation on to four wheels,” said Suzuki. “Everything is under consideration at present. We see an opportunity for us in many different markets around the world.”

The Motiv represents the first concept to be created as part of the new Yamaha-Murray partnership. The car, which can be made in both petrol and electric-only versions, will represent a siginificant challenge to the Smart ForTwo if it gets the go-ahead from the Yamaha board to enter production.

Read more about the Yamaha Motiv.