Yamaha almost built its very own supercar back in the early 1990s and you’ve probably never even heard about it.
The car, dubbed the Yamaha OX99-11 V12, was made by Yamaha subsidiary Ypsilon Technology a few years after the motorcycle manufacturer entered Formula One as an engine supplier.
Yamaha initially approached a German company to build the car but was unimpressed with the company’s work and contacted English engineering consultancy IAD to continue work on the vehicle. A number of disagreements between Yamaha and IAD saw the project moved exclusively to Yamaha’s Ypsilon Technology division but poor financial conditions in Japan made the car impossible to build and sell. In total, just three prototypes were ever made and one of them is now for sale.
The car is powered by a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V12 engine pumping out 440 hp and revving to a dizzying 10,000 rpm. This engine was mated to a six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels.
Certainly the most intriguing aspect of the OX99-11 V12 is its design. In keeping with Yamaha’s motorcycle expertise, the car was designed with a one-plus-one seating layout, resulting in a very thin and tall cockpit. The car is also very small in stature, has a tiny wheelbase and weighs just 1150 kg (2535 lbs). If it ever reached the production line, we imagine it would have been one of the finest performance cars on the market at the time.
The example currently for sale from JP Motor is apparently worth around $1.3 million.