Yamaha has just announced an electric motor engineered specifically for electric hypercar applications. The compact 800-volt unit is said to be capable of generating 496 horsepower. It was developed with the intent of having multiple units powering the same vehicle, so a vehicle using even just two of these motors could be incredibly powerful. Yamaha also highlights the motor’s compact size a result of the gear and inverter being integrated into a single unit.
This isn’t the only electric motor Yamaha has developed. Starting last year, Yamaha began expanding its business to include development of motors ranging from 47 to 268 horsepower. The smaller units were created for personal mobility vehicles and motorcycles in mind, while the more powerful units are intended for passenger cars. These motors were commissioned by other companies for use their respective products.
While a deviation from the company’s internal combustion engines for motorcycles, Yamaha’s prototyping of powertrains for other companies is a natural extension of its business. Yamaha has long been building gasoline engines for other automakers, starting in 1967 with a twin-cam inline-six for the Toyota 2000GT. Over the years its also developed high-revving twin-cams for performance cars like the Toyota AE86 and MR2, a 3.0-liter DOHC V6 for the beloved Ford Taurus SHO sports sedan, and a 4.4-liter V8 for Volvo found in the S80 and XC90. Via the Toyota connection, Yamaha engine have also found their way into sports cars like the Lotus Elise. More recently, it helped with the development of the Lexus LFA’s sonorous V10.
As for this big motor, the company says it’s accepting commissions to build prototype vehicles starting this month. The electric motors were developed for ease of installation, but output and cooling methods can be tailored to the client’s specific applications. The EV hypercar motor will make its debut at the 2021 Automotive Engineering Exposition in Yokohama, Japan from May 26-28.