Cute, Minimal, Economic in every way


Will Americans “Get It?”

The new MOTIV city car from Gordon Murray Design is red on top, white on the bottom, and can only hold one passenger at a time. It’s an autonomous electric pod that contains its occupant when in transit, and pops open to release them when it’s time to go to work…

The single-seater street car is designed to provide a method of travel for the people who often commute solo (most of the world) which has as little impact on the environment and traffic patterns as possible. It’s just 64 inches tall, 100 inches long, and 51 inches wide, meaning it’ll take up less room on the road, and perhaps most importantly less room in parking situations…

The point of this thing is to reduce carbon emissions for commuting through busy cities, aiming to replace emissions-heavy single occupancy in a large combustion engine vehicle with this little electric pod. That said, it is configurable to allow two passengers…can be adapted for wheelchair transport, and can be emptied out completely for 39 cubic feet of goods delivery…

Crucially, the MOTIV has not been developed with the autonomous software installed, but it has the high-voltage wiring harness and processing power built in to adapt any company’s stand-alone autonomous digital architecture. This wouldn’t be a bad way to start implementing geofenced autonomy, if you ask me. I’d consider taking a ride across town in a Poké Ball shared mobility pod thing. It has most of the convenience and eco-friendliness of taking an electric scooter, but with a roof to keep you out of the weather. Why not?

In the 46 years I worked fulltime, one job or another, here and there in the GOUSA, there was less than 1 year I can recall where this wouldn’t have been practical for me. And that was because of a commute to and from work a tad over 45 miles one-way. Otherwise, like most folks, I never shared that drive with anyone else. Critter would have saved me a whole lotta nines!

Shopping in a Twizy

A little less than four years ago, the first 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car was delivered to eager buyer Olivier Chalouhi in San Francisco.

Earlier this month, Nissan and its partner the French carmaker Renault delivered their 200,000th electric car.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance now claims a 58-percent share of the market for vehicles with no tailpipe emissions.

And it doesn’t bother sales at all – in most of the world – to roll out a commercial showing a couple of Formula One drivers galavanting around one of the biggest shopping malls in the world – in a couple of Twizys. Renault’s cutesy electric city car – the smallest of the four electric models they offer.

Tokyo Auto Show surprise — Yamaha to produce Motiv City Cars

Yamaha Motor Corporation moved into the automotive business this afternoon in one of the shock announcements of the Tokyo Motor Show. Yamaha’s partner in the four-wheeled endeavor is none other than Gordon Murray Design.

The new four-wheeled Yamaha Motiv range of four-wheelers will be very similar to Gordon Murray’s much-vaunted T.25 and T.27 City Car designs, and the two-seater Motiv will, if it goes into production, include a range of bodies, and a range of engines, including a 25 kW electric vehicle, and a one liter, three-cylinder engine likely to produce well over 100 bhp.

With Murray finding a major manufacturer to adopt his very clever iStream production process, the stage is set for Yamaha to create a range of very affordable and high-performance micro vehicles, and for Murray’s ingenious designs to finally go mainstream. Indeed, it looks like an ideal marriage, and one which will produce a genuine competitor to the smart fortwo…

Murray…created his own design consultancy just a few short years ago, and the first announced project was the City Car, a project which demonstrates the same genius as his racing and supercars.

Now he has found a relationship with Yamaha, a company which lists among its brand values the magic ingredient of loyalty, this could just be one of those magical matches where synergy prevails and an individual of outstanding talent finally finds an ideal match.

Yamaha cherishes “drivability” and it clearly wishes to make cars with the same delightful usability characteristics as its motorcycles. In Murray, Yamaha may have found the ideal partner to move into the automotive business with.

RTFA for lots of details – including Murray’s stellar career with McLaren. I hope folks aren’t too surprised by Yamaha’s 4-wheel capabilities. I used to fly low on the way into Moab against another road warrior who had one of the Ford Taurus SHO’s with an overhead cam V8 specially built for the car by Yamaha.

Utah staties got him twice doing over 150mph. 🙂