Currently reading: Yamaha axes all car development plans
Concepts developed with Gordon Murray could not be made to stand out from 'very strong' competition
Jim Holder
2 mins read
23 October 2019

Yamaha has confirmed it has suspended all car projects indefinitely, having concluded that it would struggle to deliver a unique selling point for any of the vehicles it developed in collaboration with Gordon Murray Design.

The firm showed two car concepts at Tokyo motor shows in 2013 and 2015, the Motiv and the Sports Ride Concept, both based around Murray's iStream manufacturing system.

All the news from the 2019 Tokyo motor show

The latter car stood out in particular for using carbonfibre in its construction, promising huge rigidity and an impressive power-to-weight ration for the car. Although exact details were not revealed, it was rumoured to have weighed less than 900kg.

Although McLaren F1 designer Murray had said the iStream system could be employed profitably for production volumes of between 1000 and 350,000 cars, Yamaha spokesman Naoto Horie confirmed at this year's Tokyo motor show that the projects would not proceed, with the firm preferring to focus on smaller, more bike-like mobility concepts if it strayed from its core motorcycle projects.

"Cars do not feature in our long-term plans any more," said Horie. "That is a decision taken by President Hidaka for the foreseeable future, as we could not see a way to develop either car to make it stand out from the competition, which is very strong.

"The sports car in particular had great appeal for us as enthusiasts, but the marketplace is particularly difficult. We now see other opportunities."

Read more

2013: Yamaha reveals Gordon Murray city car

2015: Yamaha sports car revealed at Tokyo motor show

Gordon Murray to launch McLaren F1 successor in 2022​


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23 October 2019

Shame I thought the sports car looked lovely and was an enticing concept. But no one makes money on affordable sports cars any more. 

23 October 2019
scrap wrote:

Shame I thought the sports car looked lovely and was an enticing concept. But no one makes money on affordable sports cars any more. 

Yamaha was not talking about a sports car, but a microcar or sub-supermini.

23 October 2019

It seems that the crossover is the new "sports car" of our time and that's where the money is. 

But that little Yamaha is just too good to die - wouldn't it make a great Lotus Elise replacement for the 2020s...

23 October 2019

What other small, cheap hardtop sports car is there on the market? Or wasn’t it that and would be up against the Alpine A110?

23 October 2019

Sorry Mr Gordon, your platform was not built for electric in mind, so it's curtains. Bye bye.

As much as I admire Gordon Murray, his iStream concept for small cars has become outdated instantly - he ignored electric and no company in their right mind will adopt now. Does anybody want a micro ICE car???

24 October 2019

GMD designed an electric version of the T.25 (the T.27) and the Yamaha Motiv was intended to be either electric or ICE-powered.

23 October 2019
What a shame, I've been looking forward to these small cars for quite a while

24 October 2019

The coupe looks superb.

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