The SRViper Our recent work for Yamaha’s snowmobile division is the 2014 SRViper. This project involved a joint development between Yamaha Motor and the American company Arctic Cat. Although this product is labeled a Yamaha, Arctic Cat in the USA will manufacture it, with only the engine provided by Yamaha. To help conserve cost the SRViper was to share the base of an existing Arctic Cat model; our challenge was to maximize the change of appearance, by changing a minimum number of parts. In addition we would have to achieve a design harmony between the new and existing pieces, for a cohesive natural appearance. The SRViper was given an aggressive sports character to reflect its intended use and market segment. This aggressive character was also meant as a metaphor for Yamaha’s return to the high performance snowmobile market. The concept of the form is to express a cutting tool with precise and direct function; thereby conveying the machine’s ability of sharp cornering and acceleration.
The design combines lean dynamic surfaces and sharp edges to create visual movement from the tip of the hood through the windshield, giving the design a focus and power like that of a pointed sword. The mechanical suspension components were left exposed to reduce the bulk of the machine and to avoid opportunities for “snow packing.
The SRViper design features a headlight that’s nested into the body to give a compact crouched down feeling. It’s shape is modern and aggressive, emphasizing its Yamaha identity and strong sport character. Speed is expressed through the form’s overall lean tapering surfaces and strong visual flow, while the windscreen forms a “flying” shape, giving the impression of high pressure moving across its surface and releasing from the edges, providing a visual burst of speed to the design.
Putting Yamaha into the SRViper Yamaha products share a “DNA” that cannot be avoided; this DNA has been generated from a long product history and the collective taste and intelligence that flows through the people who have worked to develop Yamaha vehicles. This DNA is carried forward by each successive generation of product, influenced by what has previously been successful; like the genetic stream of any organism. The SRViper’s forms share characteristic Yamaha features such as the “evil eyes” headlight expression and chevron intake shape, these help to further identify the SRViper as a Yamaha, but the basic form cannot be separated from its 60-year-old heritage.