Yamaha will bring an electric three-wheeler and a hydrogen-combustion dune buggy to the Tokyo motor show in a bid to bring “unfiltered joy” to the world of urban mobility.
The Yamaha Tricera is similar in concept to the Morgan Super 3 and 3 Wheeler, featuring an open-sided cockpit with seating for two.
The powertrain and chassis are “highly responsive”, according to Yamaha, introducing a novel rear-wheel steering system. This is said to sharpen the Tricera’s turn-in response. This steering can also be controlled manually, reportedly providing “the sense of accomplishment that comes when acquiring and developing new driving skills”.
The firm added: “Modern mobility is shifting toward automated driving, but that is precisely why Yamaha Motor is going back to basics.”
The Yamaha Tricera is not expected to become a production model, but the motorcycle manufacturer has historically shown an appetite for vehicles with more than two wheels.
In 1992, it unveiled the OX99-11, a two-seat sports car that would have featured a 400bhp V12 had it not been axed in 1994. Since then, it has helped with the development of several high-performance engines, including those in the Lexus LFA and Lexus RC F.
Autocar reported in February 2022 that it was also working with Toyota to convert the RC F’s 5.0-litre V8 to hydrogen combustion, a technology that could significantly reduce the net carbon emissions of conventional engines.
Yamaha has continued to experiment with hydrogen combustion independently and has converted a YXZ1000R buggy to burn hydrogen. Yamaha said: “Yamaha Motor is exploring that potential in order to keep the unique appeal of these engines alive, such as their sound and feel when on the go, well into the future.”
The conventional YXZ1000R is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that revs to 10,500rpm and outputs 110bhp.