1. It uses F1 iSTREAM Technology
The iSTREAM construction method, developed by Gordon Murray Design Limited, has only been used to build the Yamaha Motiv city-car concept. The tech utilises F1 construction technology using a mixture of thin-walled steel tubes bonded to composite iPanels. This allows manufacturers to produce lightweight cars quickly, cleanly and for a much lower cost than if they were using conventional methods.
After years of watching BMW and VW struggle with making pre-impregnated carbonfibre affordable, it looks like the genius F1 designer might already have the market sown up.
2. Gordon Murray is a genius
One of the major benefits of working with iSTREAM is the opportunity to work with Gordon Murray. Apart from creating arguably the world’s greatest supercar, Murray also has a burning passion for the low cost budget sports car; perhaps surprisingly, he owned a Smart Roadster for a number of years.
In 2005 he spoke about his desire to improve his Roadster. He contemplated removing the turbo for better throttle response and he even planned to weld in a lightweight metal roof to lower the centre of gravity. Unfortunately, after a failed attempt to disconnect the power steering he decided to leave the car stock. However, his quest for perfection certainly gives us a glimpse into the mindset of the great designer.
We can safely say that Murray has been calling out for an opportunity like this and we expect amazing results.
3. Yamaha's two-wheeled domination
Anyone who has ridden one of the company’s bikes knows that its doesn’t mess around when it comes to producing seriously fast machines. And even in the super competitive world of motorsport, it’s dominated in 2015 by securing the Moto GP and British Superbike Championships.
One shared characteristic between its super bikes is that they’re not necessarily the fastest bikes on the grid, but that they’re fantastic all-round packages. If Yamaha can take this ethos from two wheels and apply it to four then it should have a usable sports car that excels in every area.
4. The Answer Isn't Always Miata
The 2015 Mazda MX-5/Miata has been met with universal praise from the press for going back to its lightweight roots, and it’s been consistently beating the GT86 in various group tests. Even though it’s not really doing anything particularly revolutionary.
With the recent news that the Yamaha will have a boosted 1.5-litre powertrain, it looks like the Sports Ride is perfectly placed to draw buyers away from the low-powered Mazda.
And with its beautiful interior of leather, carbonfibre and metal accents, it might even lure some buyers from the top end of the market. Who needs an Alfa 4C when you can have a carbon-tubbed, mid-engined roadster for half the price, anyway?
The Sports Ride is set to hit the market in 2019 and it will hopefully give us an affordable and exciting entry point into the world of sports car ownership.