In 1992 Yamaha resumed his four-wheel projects starting with the development of a single-seater sports car called OX99-11. The Japanese company, famous both for the construction of motorcycles and for the production of motors for motor racing, had also in the past toyed with the idea of doubling the number of tires to be grounded. In this sense, we recall a prototype that already in 1961 had shown how Yamaha was particularly interested in the sports car segment.
Therefore, the designer Takuya Yura was commissioned to create the shapes of a car that at the beginning of the nineties could certainly be in step with the times, if not ahead. Equipped with a unique aircraft-style door, it was fitted with a mid-rear (longitudinal) V12 70-degree 3 and a half liter 400 horsepower engine, combined with a three-speed manual gearbox. 2 meters wide and 4.4 meters long, it weighed about 1,150 kilograms empty. To create the three prototypes that can be viewed in the photogallery were the Yamaha subsidiary Ypsilon Technology and IAD, a British engineering consultancy.
It was then assumed that it would go into production in 1994, for use mainly on private tracks thanks to the engines coming from the experience in Formula 1. The car was not in line with what the parent company required, and it was decided to solve the situation by setting the passenger in ‘tandem’ – thanks also to the space under the bubble roof. These clutches, and the lack of time required to improve the project, led to its conclusion in 1994. Without forgetting that his fate would still be sealed by the subsequent Japanese financial crisis. If it had been put up for sale, the car would have cost 1.5 million dollars at the current exchange rate.
Later Yamaha tried to reopen the sports car discourse in 2015, with the presentation of the prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show Sports Ride Concept with carbon fiber frame. However, four years later, the Japanese manufacturer again announced the withdrawal of all non-motorcycle projects.
FP | Samuel Prosino
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