Yamaha Motiv.e

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.