Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gordon Murray’s Microcar Project Morphs into Yamaha MOTIV.e at the Tokyo Motor Show

Famous British designer Gordon Murray will always be known as the man who designed the McLaren F1 hypercar. However, his favorite project is the T.25/T.27 microcar which he has been trying to bring to the market for a while now.

While earlier this year Murray confirmed the microcar will launch in 2016, Yamaha Motor Company today unveiled the MOTIV.e minicar at the Tokyo Motor Show, built in collaboration with...Gordon Murray Design. We’re not sure whether the two events are linked, though, since the MOTIV.e is different from the T.25/T.27.

For starters, it doesn’t feature a three-seat layout with a central driving position – which represents one of the main features of Murray’s pet project. Instead, the Yamaha MOTIV.e is a two-seater. Furthermore, the design is rather different as well, with the MOTIV.e featuring doors with a conventional opening system and not the T.25/T.27’s single-piece door that splits the car in two when it opens.

Styling is different too, with the Yamaha being much more similar to a Smart than to Murray’s microcar. However, the MOTIV.e uses Murray’s revolutionary iStream manufacturing technology, which incorporates Formula One composite technology to deliver new levels of lightweight, safety, vehicle dynamics and manufacturing flexibility, as well as a low environmental impact.

The iStream design is centered on a steel frame incorporating bonded composite monocoque panels to produce a lightweight, rigid safety cell. The car features an all-new electric powertrain featuring a 25kW (33hp) motor and has a declared 100-mile range (161 km) in real-world driving. Battery charging takes 3 hours from a domestic socket and one hour using a quick charger.

Top speed is 105 km/h (65 mph) and 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes under 15 seconds. The MOTIV.e weighs 730 kg (1,609 lbs) and is 2,690mm (105.9in) long, 1,470mm (57.9in) wide and 1,480mm (58.2in) tall.

The MOTIV.e may launch sometime in 2016 and will be aimed especially at the European market.

By Dan Mihalascu



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