Bet you weren’t expecting this from a motorcycle manufacturer.
We already knew that Yamaha was planning to unveil a new concept at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show – but we weren’t expecting this. Back in 2015, the motorcycle manufacturer debuted the Sports Ride, a two-seater sports car concept that sadly never made it to production. This year, we were eagerly anticipating its successor which was rumored to be another two-seater sports car designed by Gordon Murray. Turns out those rumors were false, because Yamaha has surprised everyone and revealed a peculiar pickup truck concept.
Dubbed the Yamaha Cross Hub Concept, it’s the first concept from the motorcycle manufacturer that isn’t designed by Gordon Murray. In fairness though, Murray is probably rather busy right now having announced the launch of his new low-volume car company. Details about the Cross Hub are still scarce for now: Yamaha says the pickup truck concept is aimed at “connecting the active and urban in the lifestyles of Yamaha enthusiasts.” The Cross Hub’s most unique feature is its unusual seat layout. The concept has four seats, but not in the conventional layout you would expect to find in a pickup truck. Instead, the Cross Hub Concept’s seats are arranged in the shape of a diamond.
The driver sits in a central position much like the McLaren F1 – so at least there’s still a loose connection to Gordon Murray. Two passengers sit beside the driver, and there’s another seat in the back directly behind the driver’s seat, although there doesn’t appear to be a lot of room in the rear cabin. There’s plenty of room in the trunk, however. Enough for up to two motorcycles, according to Yamaha. No technical specifications have been provided apart from the concept’s dimensions: the Cross Hub measures 4,490 millimeters long, 1,960 mm wide, and 1,750 mm tall. It also features a raised suspension setup with plenty of ground clearance and chunky off-road tires.
Whether the Yamaha Cross Hub goes into production remains to be seen, but you probably shouldn’t get your hopes up since Yamaha’s previous two concepts never became road-going models. Having said that, according to Autocar, Yamaha president Hiroyuki Yanagi confirmed that production models of both the 2013 Motiv and 2015 Sports Ride concepts are still being considered. Murray has been commissioned to make engineering prototypes while the projects continue to be evaluated. “We are still studying the feasibility and to do that properly will take some years more,” said Yanagi.