Hot Topic Reporting season
Hot Topic Reporting season
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Car Torque: Yamaha launching sports car at Tokyo Motor Show

A wrap-up of motoring news.
Cameron Officer talks about the car of the week on NBR Radio and on demand on MyNBR Radio.

Fri, 23 Oct 2015

Its two-wheeled machines are revered the world over, but Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha is set to launch a four-wheeled vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of the month.

The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has released a teaser image for its concept car; a blurry side-profile shot that reveals little technical detail about the vehicle beyond its sporty silhouette. The image was accompanied by a statement saying that Yamaha’s line-up of two-wheeled vehicles will be joined by “an automobile.”

This isn’t the first time Yamaha has showcased a four-wheeler however. In 2013 – again at the Tokyo Motor Show – the company unveiled the Motiv; a potential rival to the Smart city car that utilised F1 designer Gordon Murray’s iStream car-manufacturing blueprint.

While the Motiv featured styling cues and a footprint inspired by the Smart, the 2015 vehicle appears to be a low-slung sports car. No one is yet able to confirm whether the latest concept utilises ideas provided by Gordon Murray.

Lexus dispense with sheet metal in favour of... cardboard
Lexus’ engineers and designers appear to be on a weird and wonderful roll of sorts.

A few months after debuting to the world a fully functioning hoverboard, the company has now unveiled the Lexus Origami Car; a life-size replica of an IS sedan, complete with a fully fitted interior, functioning doors, headlights and rolling wheels.

An electric motor mounted on its steel and aluminium frame means it can even be driven.

The car has been produced as a celebration of the art of takumi – skilled men and women working in conjunction with the main Lexus production lines on detailed elements of Lexus models.

Lexus provided the Origami Car build team with a digital 3D model of the IS, which was then divided into a series of principal parts, such as the main body, dashboard, seats and wheels. These were then digitally rendered in 10mm slices to provide the two-dimensional profiles needed for the laser cutting of 1700 sheets of 10mm-thick of cardboard.

Water-based wood glue was used to secure the component parts by hand. Accuracy was vital, as changes couldn’t be made once the glue had dried.  In all, the Origami Car took three months to build.

PSA Peugeot Citroen demonstrates ‘real world’ autonomous vehicle
A PSA Peugeot Citroën autonomous vehicle concept has completed a 580km journey along a motorway between Paris and Bordeaux unassisted by the driver.

The vehicle travelled to Bordeaux to take part in the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress.

A PSA Peugeot Citroën spokesman said the vehicle, a Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, autonomously adjusted its speed and changed lanes to overtake, taking into account other vehicles, speed limits and infrastructure along its route.

"The journey made by our prototype today proves that autonomous vehicles are no longer of matter of science fiction. This ushers in a new era for mobility,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of PSA Peugeot Citroën.

PSA Peugeot Citroën had the vehicle travel to the 22nd ITS World Congress in order to demonstrate its autonomous driving functionality, as well as its car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication systems; where data transmitted by other vehicles and infrastructure can serve to enhance awareness of the vehicle's surrounding environments. 

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Car Torque: Yamaha launching sports car at Tokyo Motor Show