Yamaha MOTIV.e City CarYamaha and the inimitable Gordon Murray have teamed up to make a small but significant splash at the Tokyo Motor Show, showing Murray Design's long-promised small car project in the form of this MOTIV.e City Car electric vehicle.

Following on the development of Murray's T.27 electric car, the MOTIV.e is both a more complete vehicle and far more attractive as an urban runabout. The EV's body is constructed of weight-saving plastic panels and molded to fit around the car's dominating, bubble-like glasshouse. The overall effect, in addition to having quite a lot of Smart ForTwo in the profile, is one of a sort of wheeled escape pod. Cool, if you dig the minimalist and futurist vibes.

According to the company, the electric motor delivers 15 kilowatts continuously with a peak of 25 kW, which makes torque to the rear wheels on the order of 658 Newton meters continuously and 896 Nm at peak. Not up on your metric system? Let's say that another way: the MOTIV.e maxes out at around 660 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Yeah, that got our attention, too.

Figuring in an EV-standard single-speed transmission and a overall weight of right around 1,600 pounds, one might expect the initial acceleration of the two-seater to be pretty beastly in its raw state. Still, the Yamaha team has done some substantial work to tame things, clearly, as the stated performance specs for the MOTIV.e include a 0-62 mile per hour sprint just under 15 seconds and a top speed only in excess of about 65 mph. Most importantly, Yamaha figures the 8.8-kWh battery pack should give the EV a range of more than 100 miles "real world" and a three-hour recharging time from a "domestic socket" (with a one-hour quick-charge).

As ever, Murray has our attention, and that's before figuring in his the impact of his novel iStream manufacturing process, which is said to involve Formula One-derived composite technologies. When, where, and for how much the MOTIV.e City Car will be on sale are, as yet, unanswered by the official materials we've seen. Expect more on the developing story as we have it, of course.
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YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY UNVEILS MOTIV.e CITY CAR AT THE 43RD TOKYO MOTORSHOW 2013

In the current era of urban traffic and environmental problems there is increasing demand for downsizing and fuel efficient cars. MOTIV.e satisfies these demands by utilising ground breaking manufacturing and materials technology while delivering a new level of driver experience which emanates from the Yamaha Motor Company DNA.

The MOTIV.e is created from Yamaha Motor's multi-wheel history and experience (2 wheel - 3 wheel and 4 wheel technology). Yamaha Motor Company has always been dedicated to craftsmanship with a focus on 'quality mobility'. The MOTIV.e builds on this philosophy and incorporates Formula One heritage, inspiration from motorcycle design and the latest technology to deliver an exciting and high quality driving experience. The MOTIV.e delivers a new level of personal mobility.

Yamaha Motor Company chose Gordon Murray Design to cooperate in the design and development of the MOTIV.e which utilises Gordon Murray Design's revolutionary iStream® manufacturing technology. Yamaha Motor Company and Gordon Murray Design are a perfect fit as a partnership with both company's Formula One and technology backgrounds.

The iStream® manufacturing system which incorporates Formula One composite technology delivers new levels of lightweight, safety, vehicle dynamics and manufacturing flexibility alongside low environmental impact.

The MOTIV.e design reflects Yamaha's rich heritage in high quality lifestyle products while introducing a technical and dynamic shape which is inspired by Yamaha Motor's Motorcycle products. The iStream® design is centred on a steel frame incorporating bonded composite monocoque panels to produce a lightweight, rigid safety cell. All independent suspension and low unsprung weight delivers new levels of ride and handling. The all-new electric powertrain has been designed using 'state of the art' materials and technology.

The MOTIV.e represents a new starting point for urban mobility vehicles and sets new standards in the ultra compact 4 wheeler segment.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Figuring in an EV-standard single-speed transmission and a overall weight of right around 1,600 pounds, one might expect the initial acceleration of the two-seater to be pretty beastly in its raw state." Really, you expected beastly acceleration? Is has 33.5 peak hp, 20.1 hp continuous. That's 47.75 # per peak hp. Acceleration isn't about motor torque or single speed gearboxes. It's set by average ratio of power delivered to pavement over vehicle mass. It's just that simple.
      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      great design inside out. brings some spice to the smart formular
      Britt Benston
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you can't take a short trip in a car, it is not a viable car for the vast majority of people, and a step backwards. I still covet this car just because Murray engineered it.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      This design kicks the crap out of all the other mini city cars(smart fourtwo, vw up, toyota iq).
      Ele Truk
      • 1 Year Ago
      8.8 KWh gets 100 miles? I don't think so, that would make it (impossibly) almost 3X the efficiency of a Nissan Leaf, or about 300 MPGe On the other hand, it's a LOT more attractive than the T.27
        johnnythemoney
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ele Truk
        Three factors: - size: smaller, less front area, less rolling friction with smaller tires - weight: smaller car, "hi-tech" materials, lower weight - power: smaller and lighter car needs less power too Done. Without being as anachronistic as the XL1, even if 15/25 or even 60 kw won't help it impress Joe Average form the States.
          William Flesher
          • 1 Year Ago
          @johnnythemoney
          @ Sheepdog- You're absolutely correct about aerodynamics at highway speeds. But this, much like the Smart, is intended to be a city car first and foremost. It appeals to urban owners who actually NEED a tiny "footprint" far more than they do an impressive Highway mpg/mpg-e rating that they will rarely utilize. Many of them could very well use a cheaper NEV, but the higher safety standards and option to use highways when needed is often worth the higher cost.
          Sheepdog 44
          • 1 Year Ago
          @johnnythemoney
          Aerodynamics is the most important factor in efficiency. Why can't the smart fortwo crack 40mpg highway while larger heavier 4 seat sedans can? AERO, done. You can't the car light enough or the frontal area low enough for this city car to get 300mpge. The state 8.8kwhs for 100 miles is basically at 35mph average city speeds where aero doesn't matter. This is just a neighborhood electric vehicle with a higher top speed. It is not efficient, it is simply to slow to waste energy accelerating and cruising at highway speeds. You could probably double the range of the Leaf doing this slow speed city cycle.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @johnnythemoney
          All of those things help . . . but it won't be 3 TIMES as efficient as the Leaf.
        Samuel Look
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ele Truk
        It weighs probably half as much and looks to have about 70-80% of the frontal area of a LEAF. An Ariel Atom will out perform almost every other sports car on the road for the same kind of reasons. Nothing beats sheer smallness and lightness for getting the most out of a gallon of gas or a box of electrons!
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      looks like ****, Smart is the best little car in the world
      MZDASPEED
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like it, but lets just throw a busa motor in the back and get rid of those batteries. Rear engine, RWD, microcar with a manual please!
        dearest rat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MZDASPEED
        It sounds like you want a sport bike. You should get a sport bike. But the option is on the table for Yamaha to do this...
      Muttons
      • 1 Year Ago
      For a city car it's actually attractive. Great lines and details. Spec wise, I don't see it as ground breaking. Tons of torque but still 15 seconds to 62 mph? Only 100 miles range? 2 seats? I thought Murray was going for a game changer, not an also ran.
        dearest rat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Muttons
        I don't think a quick 0-60 time is a priorities for a city car such as this. A subcompact, maybe. I can see where you're coming from, though given the choice, I'd take this over any Smart car or iQ or 500.
      Tstag
      • 1 Year Ago
      The real genius of this is that they can build this car cheaply and make it in almost any factory. Not much special equipment is needed. Because no presses are involved it should be eash for them to update styling when the time comes. If a company like BMW embraced technologies like this then we might see concept cars like the MINI Rocketman actually come into being.
      George Krpan
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's good looking but it dosn't look like it is intended to sell in a high volume, meaing it won't be cheap. I like the Elio formula better.
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