Yamaha is jumping into the electric motor game

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first_img First Look: 2022 Lexus NX The sport-cute’s looks have been softened, but its powertrains and infotainment offerings have been sharpened The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. RELATED amp; See More Videos RELATED TAGSAlfa RomeoYamahaCoupeElectricFlexElectric CarsElectric VehiclesNew Vehicles Trending in Canada PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca center_img Like so many mobility companies, Yamaha is looking to bolster its EV nous. Unlike so many of those companies, however, the motorcycle giant is looking to bring that technology in-house and the fruits of that research are plainly displayed in a a recently-released video boasting its development of compact electric engines.Of course, there’s small versions — 35 kilowatts or 47 horsepower — no doubt destined for motorcycle use. But more exciting are the ultra-compact 201-hp/150-kW jobbies powering a sporty “mid-engined” prototype.One of the advantages Yamaha has over upstarts — and even legacy automakers — in electric motor development is the ability to make “extremely compact designs” thanks to its high-tech casting systems developed from the world of motorcycle racing. According to the lead of development for the twin-motor Yamaha Motor High-performance Electric Motor Prototype, Takashi Hara, “making the units compact was paramount” for Kanno Seino, or “exhilarating performance.” Hara goes on to note that the company is also working its magic in the sound department, claiming that “fine-tuning the sound” is how Yamaha “expresses fun” and is part of Yamaha’s quest for “emotion-driven engineering.” COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS The Toyota MR2 could grace showrooms again—as an EVNow, this isn’t the Yamaha’s first go-round at building automotive powertrains. It famously built the double-overhead-cam engines that made the first-gen Ford Taurus SHO one of the most acclaimed domestic sports sedans of recent memory. Yamaha also engineered the 4.4-litre V8 that powered Volvo’s original XC90. But its closest automotive partner is without a doubt Toyota, for whom it first engineered the rare as hen’s teeth — and eminently collectible — 1967 to 1970 2000 GT. Since then, it has built the sonorous V10 that powered Lexus’s incredible LFA, the naturally-aspirated V8 in the Lexus RC and the Celica GT-S’s 2ZZ-GE 1.8L that also powered the Lotus Exige.Reports earlier this year suggest that Yamaha would make its electric powertrains available to consumers — “we will customize the prototype to the specific needs of individual customers and deliver in short time spans” — the electric equivalent of so-called “crate motors” that many automakers offer to the aftermarket. But could this really be just a smokescreen for yet another collaboration with a major automaker? If so, then although the company’s twin-motored prototype — 402 horses and bags o’ torque — is almost assuredly an Alfa Romeo 4C (no doubt chosen because it’s the cheapest “mule” available with a carbon-fibre tub), the leading candidate for a Yamaha-powered sports car still has to be Toyota, who has dropped hints of reviving the MR2 as an electric roadster.The world’s largest automaker may be the greatest at producing large production runs, but has a history of collaboration — Subaru and BMW recently, not to mention Yamaha in years past — when it comes to limited production sports cars. Considering that Toyota is a little behind in electric vehicle development and that a Yamaha-produced sports car could not only be produced quickly but also provide a halo for future EVs — exactly like Tesla did with the original Roadster — it’s a good guess that, if the Yamaha High-performance Electric Motor Prototype ever does see the light of day, it will be wearing a Toyota badge. Trending Videos advertisement This Canadian is building the world’s first electric small-block Chevy V8 ‹ Previous Next ›last_img

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