Yamaha OX99-11 Concept

A while back we talked about the sale of an ultra-rare OX99-11 that was going for a whopping $1.3 million. We realized that our own coverage of this forgotten 90s supercar was woefully inadequate. Below we aim to fixed that we an all-new guide to the Yamaha OX99-11.

Yamaha began competing in Formula One in 1989, and using the experience they had gained during that time they wanted to build a price-no-object, pure supercar based on actual Formula One technology. YAMAHA decided to celebrate this new role as a Formula 1 engine supplier by making the most hardcore supercar they could imagine, powered by a house-trained version of its racing engine.

Even though the Formula One team was doing poorly in competition, by 1991 the team had just come out with a new engine, the OX99. The initiative was pushed by the company’s promo—seeking sporting goods division, and approached a German company to come up with an initial version of the car. Yamaha was not pleased with the initial result as it was too similar to sport cars of that time, so they contacted IAD to continue working on the project. By the beginning of 1992, just under 12 months after starting to work on the project, IAD came with an initial version of the car.

Ypsilon Technology, the Milton Keynes-based Yamaha subsidiary that built the F1 engines, and to a radical exterior style created by Mooncraft in Japan, IAD confected a tantalizing spec with a with the engine, a detuned version of the OX99 racing V12, incorporated as a load-bearing part of the car. In road spec it would make 400bhp at a lively 10,000rpm. Not a lot by modern standards, but adequate when the car‘s carbon fiber tub and aluminum panels made it super lightweight.

A conventional six—speed manual ’box and rear wheel drive promised uncomplicated pleasures while suspension design followed race car principles. Damping and ride height would be fully adjustable. To hammer home the racing connection, the driver sat centrally with a small space behind for a ‘pillion‘ passenger, their legs canted down one side of the seat in front. Access was by a single gull-wing door that lifted out a slice of the whole canopy, and the interior was willfully minimal with driver and their tightly packed passenger feel the benefit of air conditioning

The car featured a radical and somewhat outrageous design, like its cockpit-looking roof. Other notable specs were the same carbon fiber chassis and OX99 engine as the F1 car, essentially providing the closest experience of a pure racing car to the consumer market.

IAD completed the first prototype in 1991 conducted Shakedown tests at Millbrook Proving ‘ Ground under the cover of darkness to minimize the chances of anyone papping this insane-looking machine. Satisfied that the concept worked as intended, it built another two cars ahead of a press launch in 1992, at which Yamaha said it would make 20 to 30 cars a year in the old Brabham factory in Chessington.

Unfortunately all this carbon fibre and F1 technology came with a price tag $800,000 this just at the end of a recession. The company was keen to emphasize that acceleration and drivability were greater development priorities than top speed. The car never made it in to production. Issues were found with its handling which needed additional design development which was to be expected in supercar designed and built in 12 months, however this was taken over by Yamaha’s own company Ypsilon Technology in Milton Keynes, which was set up to both service the F1 engines and build the cars. Unfortunately 6 months later due to a perceived lack of demand the plug was pulled in 1992.

Free-revving V12, central driving position, emphasis on more than just numbers. That’s our kind of car. Too bad it never turned a wheel in anger.

Pictures & Gallery

Specs & Performance

submitted by Richard Owen
type Concept / Prototype Car
built at Japan
engine V12
displacement 3498 cc / 213.5 in³
power 298.3 kw / 400.0 bhp @ 10000 rpm
specific output 114.35 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 347.83 bhp per tonne
torque -1.0 nm / -1.0 ft lbs @ 10000 rpm
driven wheels Mid Engine / RWD
front tires 245/40 ZR 17
rear tires 315/35 ZR 17
front brakes Vented Discs
rear brakes Vented Discs
steering Rack & Pinion
curb weight 1150 kg / 2535 lbs
wheelbase 6250 mm / 246.1 in
front track 1615 mm / 63.6 in
rear track 1633 mm / 64.3 in
length 4400 mm / 173.2 in
width 2000 mm / 78.7 in
height 1220 mm / 48.0 in
transmission 6-Speed Manual
top speed ~350 kph / 217.5 mph
0 – 60 mph ~3.2 seconds