Yeah, we know the stunning Sports Ride Concept just unveiled at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show is a car, but that shouldn't come as a complete surprise to anybody because Yamaha has been involved in the four-wheeled world for a long time, building the original Toyota 2000GT and then top-quality engines for the likes of the Ford Taurus SHO and Volvo XC90 V-8.
But what about this Sports Ride Concept? Yamaha hasn’t provided many details, but this much we know: This 2-seater—a front-engine/rear-driver with a mini McLaren look on the outside and a luxurious interior that wouldn’t be out of place in a Pagani—is built using the iStream process developed by famed F1 designer Gordon Murray. As such, this carbon-chassis Yamaha is claimed to be rigid and very light, weighing a claimed 1654 lb., with “quintessential sports car proportions” that make for a sports car that’s a half-inch shorter and a half-inch narrower than the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Most important, this new Yamaha concept—which presumably hasn’t had to meet any sort of crash standards—weighs about 400 lb. less than a Lotus Elise.
Where do we sign up? Nowhere just yet. The engine wasn’t revealed at Tokyo, but rumors around the show suggest one of Yamaha’s larger-displacement motorcycle mills is on duty underhood, maybe even driving the rear wheels via a chain. And here’s an even juicier thought: The Yamaha Sports Ride Concept may be the basis for Toyota’s next MR2.