One of the most interesting cars unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show has to be Yamaha’s Sports Ride Concept – and not just because it’s a good-looking two-seat sports car.
What makes it unique for a car of its size and budget is the lightweight carbon chassis developed by Gordon Murray Design. The UK-based company’s iStream Carbon is the world’s first affordable high volume carbon fiber chassis structure and has the potential to bring Formula One materials and technology to the masses.
Thanks to the lightweight chassis, the Yamaha Sports Ride Concept tips the scales at just 750 kg (1,653 lbs). Furthermore, iStream Carbon sets new standards in the automotive industry for chassis light weighting, rigidity and safety, according to Gordon Murray Design.
Unlike the iStream chassis technology, showcased at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show on the Yamaha MOTIV.e study, iStream Carbon replaces the glass content with carbon fiber, offering even more performance for lightweight and rigidity.
Unlike any other carbon fiber chassis technology, iStream Carbon is a fully mechanized system with a cycle time of just 100 seconds. Unlike many expensive handmade supercars which employ single skin carbon panels, iStream Carbon is utilizes two carbon skins sandwiching a honeycomb core – just like in Formula One racing.
Thanks to the low cost investment and piece part cost of iStream Carbon components, Gordon Murray Design says the technology will make sense for vehicles from sub-premium market segments.
iStream and iStream Carbon can have annual production volumes between 1,000 and 350,000 units at a cycle time of 100 seconds. By utilizing these chassis technologies, Gordon Murray Design reckons capital investment can be reduced by up to 80 percent, while manufacturing energy can be slashed by up to 60 percent – all while offering new levels of rigidity, corrosion resistance, safety, durability and low cost light weighting.