Gordon Murray and Yamaha reveal new Motiv city car (2016)Thu, 21 Nov 2013
By Ollie Kew
First Official Pictures
21 November 2013 11:00
This futuristic Smart ForTwo lookalike is in fact the Gordon Murray Design Motiv – and no, the latter part of that name isn’t a typo.
Built in conjunction with Yamaha, the Motiv uses elements of F1, motorcycle and extra-automotive technology to try and cut down on the environmental impact building – and running – a car creates.
Mainly, it’s the two-seater’s production process, coined ‘iStream’ by the 240mph McLaren F1’s designer Gordon Murray. In development for 15 years, the idea could cut the size of a regular car production plant by up to 80%, according to manufacturer predictions.
In principle, iStream dispenses with the production line assembly of cars used since Henry Ford’s Model T, instead building cars in a more methodical pre-packaged style. Wiring looms and control units are fixed to pre-painted panels, which are then bonded together in an F1-like sandwich structure, reducing weight but actually enhancing stiffness and safety. It’s also faster than welding together cars with robots, as per the template of mass-production in 2013, and creates less waste material.
It’s car not just a basic shopping trolley though. The Motiv’s all-independent suspension and electric powertrain are claimed to give ‘new levels of ride and handling’ performance, as well as suiting the car’s need to be nippy and eco-friendly, given its urban brief.
In electric guise, the rear-drive Motiv develops a peak of 34bhp, and a huge 660lb ft – continuous torque is 485lb ft. The 730kg Motiv hits 62mph in around 15sec, and tops out at over 65mph. The real-world range is claimed to be 100 miles.
The Japanese outfit is the first engineering firm to take the plunge with Murray’s iStream concept and attempt to implement it into a full-scale production reality.
Yamaha has yet to sign off on the cost-effectiveness of rewriting the car design and production rule-book, but if the Motiv gets the green light, electric and conventional petrol-powered versions could be hitting a city street near you as early as 2016. It’s likely to be priced at around £10,000 to compete with Smart’s new ForTwo and the new rear-drive Renault Twingo.
By Ollie Kew