It seems that Gordon Murray Design (GMD) has finally found a development partner with which to license its innovative microcar designs, as Yamaha unveiled the Motiv.e city car concept at the 2013 Tokyo auto show.
Based on the T25 and T27 microcar designs, which feature a 51-hp 660-cc Mitsubishi I-3 engine and 340-hp electric Zytec engine, respectively, the Motiv.e concept will also utilize GMD’s patented iStream manufacturing technology. iStream uses Formula One-derived technology to build lightweight and safe vehicles with high levels of manufacturing flexibility and low environmental consequences. GMD has previously claimed that the iStream technology would allow the manufacturer to build city cars with 80 percent lower capital investment and 80 percent less factory space than traditional factories.
The Yamaha Motiv.e city car will reportedly use a new all-electric powertrain integrated within a steel frame that incorporates bonded composite monocoque panels and an all-independent suspension. Although powertrain specifics are not yet available, very little power will be needed to get this little car going; the T27 clocked in at just under 1500 pounds and had a range of 80-100 miles on its 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
Design cues on the rear end of the Yamaha Motiv.e remind us of the Smart ForTwo, although from the front its massive windshield gives it a rather unique aesthetic. The curved windshield seems to meld smoothly with the side windows and panoramic glass roof, creating a Jetsons-esque pod effect.
Initial estimates on the T27 priced the all-electric vehicle at around $18,800, but official pricing figures have not yet been announced. We’re excited about the prospect of Yamaha entering the four-wheel automotive sphere, especially considering its long history of success with motorcycles and other vehicles like boats and ATVs. Expect more information on Yamaha's plans for the Motiv.e in the coming months.