Yamaha’s Sports Ride concept is designed to feel more like a motorcycle than a car

Yamaha is one of the most versatile companies on the planet. It’s primarily known for manufacturing motorcycles, musical instruments, outboard motors for boats, and snowmobiles, but the Sports Ride concept that’s currently on display in Tokyo shows the Japanese giant still has what it takes to design a lightweight sports car.

The Sports Ride looks like an expensive supercar that shrunk in the wash. When viewed from the front, its muscular-looking design is characterized by a sculpted hood, thin headlights and a splitter built into the lower part of the bumper, a steeply-sloped A-pillar, and air vents right in front of the rear wheels. Around back, it gets a mini air diffuser and a pair of exhaust outlets mounted right below a thin spoiler.

The coupe stretches 153 inches long, 67 inches wide and just 46 inches tall, dimensions that make it about the same size as the Toyota S-FR concept that’s also making its public debut in the Japanese capital. It tips the scale at less than 1,700 pounds largely because it’s crafted out of carbon fiber.

The coupe offers space for two passengers in a futuristic, driver-focused cabin whose design is inspired by the world of sport bikes. Yamaha promises that, from behind the wheel, the Sports Ride feels more like a motorcycle than like a car.

Yamaha hasn’t revealed what the concept is powered by, which seems to be par for the course in Tokyo this year. Rumors indicate it uses a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine tuned to make anywhere between 70 and 80 horsepower. That’s not much on paper, but it’s plenty when the car’s ultra-low weight is taken into account.

The Sports Ride concept is compatible with Gordon Murray’s Formula One-inspired iStream manufacturing process, but we’ll have to wait to find out what the future has in store for it. It might be a simple design study built to show Yamaha’s team can still design cars, or it might spawn a back-to-basics, driver-focused coupe in the next few years.

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