Yamaha Cross Hub Concept Hints at Company's Deepest Desires

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Yamaha builds, like, everything, from ATVs and outboard motors, to electronics and musical instruments. It seems there’s almost no pie this Japanese conglomerate doesn’t have a finger deeply buried in.

But one conspicuous thing they don’t manufacture is automobiles. Sure, they’ve done plenty of work with other car companies, though they don’t build their own. That being said, their ambitions in this space seem pretty clear.

In 2015, at the last Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha unveiled its Sports Ride concept, which was sort of a four-wheeled motorcycle. This year, they took the wrapper off another design study, the Cross Hub Concept.

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This tiny pickup truck is aimed at active urbanites, ostensibly a coveted demographic. Inside, it features an unexpected seating arrangement with the driver perched front and center. Passenger buckets flank this seat in an awkward, diamond-shaped arrangement. It’s unclear how comfortable this would be, but it would certainly make production for global markets easier since there’s no need to reengineer everything to move the steering wheel from one side to the other.

‘Round back, the Cross Hub Concept has room for up to two motorcycles in a small bed, making it unexpectedly useful. Of course, it could also be used to haul a variety of other items, from garden mulch to furniture.

Yamaha doesn’t build cars, but someday soon they might dip a toe into this potentially lucrative market. And given their heritage, any four-door vehicular offering with their logo on it would probably be a riot to drive.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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