5 Cars Built With Help From Yamaha

For most, the mention of Yamaha won’t invoke the picture of an auto. Maybe your mind would be drawn to melodic instruments, which would just be normal given that the organization’s first products were pianos and organs. After all, the current Yamaha's logo still references this today – it’s a trio of tuning forks.

Indeed, even the Yamaha Motor Company - a separate firm since 1955 in which Yamaha Corporation is the dominant part investor - is more known for things like motorbikes and ATVs.

Here are some of our top choices:

Lexus LFA

Having effectively made the cylinder heads towards the Lexus IS-F's shouty N/A V8, Yamaha ran one step beyond with the LFA - designed the entire damn engine. That's right, we’re talking about the radiant 4.8-litre V10, considered by many to be one of the best road car engines ever made.

Part of the air intake was pleasingly optimised by the sound technology from Yamaha Corporation. So, musical expertise was employed to make that V10 sound significantly sweeter.

Toyota Altezza RS200

By the time the IS-F and LFA projects arrived, Toyota has already had a long and rich history with Yamaha. A major part of that was the Yamaha co-developed 3S-GE inline-four engine, which appeared in semblances of the Celica, MR2, RAV4, and the unforgettable one: the Altezza RS200.

Volvo XC90 V8

Volvo’s V8 is eminent for two major reasons. Right off the bat it was designed specifically to be mounted transversely, and besides, Volvo didn’t really build it - it was created and manufactured by Yamaha.

Volvo had decided that the original XC90 needed a V8 in order for the vehicle to have a proper crack at the US market, yet the Swedish producer didn’t actually have much experience around this area. Purchasing a current auto engine from another source wouldn’t work either, as a conventional eight-banger would eat into the XC90's front crumple zone.

Rather, Volvo went to Yamaha with its demands in hand, and the “B8444S'” was born. The engine emerged from this joint venture is fantastically compact, with a thin cylinder bank angle of 60 degrees instead of the usual 90 degrees. The block was cast with mounting mounts for ancillaries so space-sapping was not necessary, and Yamaha even balance the cylinder banks by half a cylinder to enhance the fit in the XC90’s engine bay.

Ford Taurus SHO

Ford turned to Yamaha to ensure the “Super High Output” designation of this Taurus, which wasn’t good for nothing, and what the Japanese came up with was exceptional. The 3.0-litre V6 would rev to 7300rpm (yet was evidently fit for going beyond 8000), and produced 220bhp, which was an absurd amount of power for an engine of that size at that time. Actually, this jumped-up Taurus matched and surpassed various V8 Foxbody Mustangs of the era.

The engine was carried out to the second generation Taurus SHO in 1992, despite the fact that in 1996 on the third generation the car’s engine 3.4-litre engine V8 made from Cosworth block. But, the cylinder heads? They were from… Yamaha.

Toyota 2000GT

The Toyota 2000GT involved significantly more than Yamaha designing a cylinder head or even an entire engine.

The 2000GT allegedly started off as a joint venture between Yamaha and Nissan. After Nissan pulled the plug, Yamaha turned to Toyota to make its sport car dream to become a reality.

Keen to shine its image at the time, Toyota agreed to unite, giving the world the 2000GT. In the end, the car was penned by Toyota's Satoru Nozaki, but Yamaha played a major role in designing, engineering and manufacturing the car, producing 351 precedence over three years.

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