Yamaha Will Build Gordon Murray’s Motiv City Car, Will Launch By 2019

Yamaha has green-lighted production of Gordon Murray’s Motiv city car with reports talking about entering the market as early as 2019.

According to the same report, Yamaha is ready to spend “tens of billions of yen” for building a manufacturing plant in Europe but the decision of where to build it has not been taken yet. Yamaha targets the European market mainly with its Smart-rivalling city car but is also considering selling it in Japan and other emerging markets in Asia.

Designed and conceived by legendary British designer Gordon Murray (the father of the McLaren F1), the Yamaha Motiv will be available in petrol and electric versions. The car you see in the photos here is the Motiv.e concept shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, powered by a 33hp electric motor and with a declared range of 100 miles (161km).

Yamaha said back then than a full-charge takes three hours from a domestic socket and one hour using a quick charger. The 1-litre gasoline version is expected to make around 70-80hp, using an all-new three cylinder engine, made exclusively for the Motiv by Yamaha. The petrol engine will send its power to the rear wheels through a six-speed double-clutch transmission.

Master designer Gordon Murray needed a partnership with a big player in order for his new child to reach production, a project he fully engineered for the past few years, coming up with a revolutionary manufacturing process called iStream. Inspired by Formula 1, the iStream process uses simple tubular steel frames with lightweight composite panels bonded on to them, offering class-leading rigidity and safety, while keeping the weight as low as possible.

Yamaha has fully embraced Murray’s vision and the Motiv is expected to be built using these exact techniques.

Still want that Smart?


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