The first car I thought of when I saw the new Mazda Iconic SP concept was, well, itself, obviously.
But the next one, almost immediately, was the Yamaha OX99-11, another sports car from Japan that was studio-photographed in red and featured the dreamiest kinds of curves.
It had a 3.5-litre V12 engine, which Yamaha supplied to Jordan for its 1992 Formula 1 race car, and a carbonfibre monocoque to go around it, with a central driving position and space for a passenger to sit behind.
Alas, though, they couldn’t get it to work. Shame. I’d never wanted a car more. Three prototypes apparently exist(ed).
Motorcycle manufacturer and automotive-engine maker of some repute Yamaha has dabbled with the idea of making cars a few times since. It showed some concepts based around Gordon Murray’s iStream production process in the 2010s.
The Sports Ride concept (seen at the 2015 Tokyo show) looked particularly cool. But later they decided, again, that they couldn’t pull it off, because while cars “had great appeal for us as enthusiasts, the marketplace is particularly difficult”, as the firm’s bosses told us in 2019.
Still, Yamaha is back in our world, of a fashion, with the Tricera concept. And, as you can see, it’s not a racing machine for the road this time. The trike is said to be about “exciting urban mobility: when one’s body and mind and the machine become an organic whole”.