Yamaha has been around for 126 years, and though it’s one of the leading motorcycle, off-road vehicle, snowmobile, engine, scooter and digital instrument manufacturers in the world, it has never built a car.
That could all change based on the reception of the Japanese brand’s car concept, set to debut at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Yamaha’s only statement surrounding the below teaser was that the “design concept is inspired by motorcycles and expresses the Unique Style of Yamaha.”
As a reminder, Yamaha was intimately involved in the development of Toyota’s 1967 2000GT and presently assists Lexus with vehicle engine development, so it’s certainly not a total out-of-left-field move to branch into car manufacturing.
Even without the promise of production, for a company to build a concept, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, (yep, that’s how much those auto show-touring things actually cost to make) there’s at least a chance it could make it to the streets in some form.
Three years ago, designer Albert Rosello produced the Yamaha R Car design study, which, as he described it, was, “a supercar with a superbike soul.” Besides the concept’s good looks, the R Car was envisioned to weight just 2,245 pounds while making over 900 horsepower. Perhaps Yamaha’s Tokyo Motor Show concept will be some realization of that vision, but going from no cars to supercars would be quite the jump.
The company will also display “an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot that combines motorcycle and robotics technologies.” I’ll be honest, that’s a frightening concept, but the Tokyo Motor Show always seems to include at least one semi-terrifying bit of technology each year, so we’ll call that par for the course.
The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show will start on Oct. 29.