Friday, March 30, 2012

Yamaha OX99-11


The coolest supercar that never was.

Built around a carbon fiber tub with pushrod-actuated suspension, featuring central, tandem seating positions and running a detuned version Yamaha's then-current F1 V12, it was literally a Formula One car for the road.

Some specs:

Engine:  Yamaha 3.5 liter V12, 400HP @ 10,000 rpm.
Chassis:  carbon fiber tub - engine mounted directly to rear bulkhead
Body:  hand-beaten aluminum panels
Front suspension:  double wishbones from aero section steel tubing, fabricated uprights, push rods to inboard coil over damper units
Rear suspension:  double wishbones from aero section steel tubing, fabricated uprights, push rods to inboard coil over damper units - mounted directly on gearbox
Transmission:  6 speed transaxle with limited slip differential and multi-plate AP racing clutch
Brakes:  AP Racing 6 piston (front) and 4 piston (rear) billet machined calipers with cast iron discs
Wheels:  magnesium alloy


Sadly, like a lot of expensive cars in development in the early 90s (the projected price was $1,000,000 - this according to official sales brochures), it was a casualty of Japan's burst economic bubble.  At this point, the car was essentially ready for sale, with only fine-tuning needed before it could be put in to limited production - a similar tale to the more recent Honda NSX/HSV-010 debacle.

I could write a lot about this car, but it would probably read like an adjective-laced transcript of two 8th grade boys describing it to each other - the word "awesome" would be pervasive.  Instead, I'll link a short but excellent story from thekneeslider.com, written by one of the people personally involved in the project.  Someday, I hope to hunt down a copy of the detailed and exclusive 1992 Paul Frère/Road & Track test drive and post up some scans.

the 3.5L, DOHC, 48V V12 made 400HP and redlined at 11,000 RPM
Paul Frère love it - no one from the press ever drove the car
serious business
bare tub - like an F1 car without the aero
define evocative
where they hibernate
absolutely insane to think this was almost a road car

not a great video, but then again the only video of the OX99-11 in action  
sounds great just warming up, but the impatient should skip to 1:05

1 comment:

  1. There's at least one more video of the OX99-11

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KzGwHCsKKw

    ReplyDelete