Win on Sunday, sell on Monday, right? Otherwise, why go racing? It was only natural Yamaha wanted to capitalise commercially and in a marketing sense from its involvement in Formula 1 during the early Nineties.
In fact Yamaha started competing in F1 from 1989, and the Japanese company's experience garnered a supercar prototype by 1992. The OX99-11 and its initial design was outsourced to a German firm but the proposals were deemed too conservative. That's when an English design company came in and got a futuristic, wild design signed off.
For the early Nineties the OX99-11 was wild in specification too. The proposal was for a single-seater car, but Yamaha wanted two seats, and got two, but in tandem, like on a motorcycle. The chassis was an F1-spec carbon-fibre tub, double-wishbone push-rod front and rear suspension, all sorts of other racecar bits and, of course, an F1 V12 engine, 3.5 litres in displacement, revving to an incredible 10,000rpm and making 400bhp.
There were magnesium wheels, six-speed transaxle, single gullwing door, hand-rolled aluminium panels, and F1 aerodynamics courtesy of March F1 team's Robin Herd. The whole thing weighed just 1,150kg.
Few media in the world were allowed to drive the OX99-11, but late Belgian wordsmith and racer Paul Frère did and praised it. The only thing to rival it at the time in 1992 would've been the 1,138kg McLaren F1, which, meanwhile, did go into production at not a lot of difference in price (and those now start from $10 million a pop).
However politics between the design contractor and Yamaha messed things up, as did the entire timing and management of the OX99-11 story. Yamaha threw the project management over to its lifestyle sporting division that does things like boats and golf carts. Market forecast was disastrous too, as the car neared completion just in time for a Japanese financial crisis. This wasn't the ripe time to go selling a million-dollar dream car.
Unsurprisingly, Yamaha failed and needless to say the OX99-11 never made it. And in eight years of trying it didn't win a Formula 1 Grand Prix either.