2016 Honda Project 2&4

2016 honda project 2 38 4 – DOC645204

With the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show right around the corner, Honda has introduced the Project 2&4, the motorcycle-powered car it announced earlier this year .

Built to celebrate Honda’s position as “the world’s leading engine manufacturer, providing engines to 28 million people per year across two- and four-wheel automotive, power equipment, marine and aerospace applications,” the Project 2&4 is the result of joint effort between the brand’s motorcycle and automobile design studios in Japan .

“Honda Project 2&4 seeks to create an intense driving experience by combining the most thrilling elements of riding a motorcycle with the most engaging characteristics of driving a car. The result not only showcases the creativity flowing through Honda’s design studios, but also challenges expectations of the future of mobility,” Honda said in a statement.

Unfortunately, the Japanese didn’t say whether the concept previews a lightweight production model or not. More details will become available next week, but until that happens, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the Project 2&4.

Exterior

Honda Project 2&4

Built by Honda’s motorcycle design studio in Asaka and designed in collaboration with the automobile design studio in Wako, the Honda Project 2&4 features a simple exterior typical of most modern-day open-cockpit cars. In many ways, it looks like a hybrid between the 2004 Ariel Atom and the 2011 KTM X-BowR .

Simple and unusual by design, even for a lightweight sports car, the Project 2&4 draws its cues from the Formula One cars of the 1960s.

Though its bodywork is not a complex as the X-Bow’s , lacking actual bumpers and side skirts, it’s a bit more intricate than the Atom , a sports car employing almost no body panels.

It’s also smaller than the two, measuring only 119.6 inches in length and 71.6 inches in width. It’s also amazingly flat at only 39.1 inches in height. But the curb weight is by far the Project 2&4’s most impressive feature at only 893 pounds.

Simple and rather unusual by design, even for a lightweight sports car, the Project 2&4 draws its cues from the Formula One cars of the 1960s. If you ignore the fact that the driver’s seat isn’t mounted at the center, that is. Honda says the body design and engine position have been inspired by the legendary Honda RA272, a Formula One car the Japanese used in the 1965 season.

The brand even went so far as to paint the Project 2&4 in the same white-and-red livery that mimics the Japanese flag. It’s important to note than the RA272 became the first Japanese racer to win an F1 Grand Prix.

Interior

Being more of a motorcycle on four wheels than an actual car, the Project 2&4 doesn’t really have an interior. The cockpit, if we can call it that, consists of a racing seat with a six-point harness, a multi-function steering wheel with a flat bottom and shifting paddles, and a head-up display instead of the traditional instrument cluster. Making the concept rather exotic is its “floating seat” design, meaning the driver’s seat is suspended just above the road.

My only issue with the Project 2&4’s cockpit is that it doesn’t look very safe in the event of a crash. The seat is too exposed for a side impact and I think this is exactly why this concept won’t become a production model.

Drivetrain

Honda Project 2&4

Motivating the Project 2&4 is a 999 cc V-4, four-stroke engine Honda has developed for the MotoGP motorcycle racing series. Retuned for road use, the unit cranks out more than 213 horsepower at 13,000 rpm and more than 87 pound-feet of twist at 10,500 rpm. The power is routed to the wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The engine’s redline sits at an impressive 14,000 rpm, only 1,000 rpm less than a modern-day Formula One car.

Though Honda has yet to reveal performance figures, judging by the fact that the Project 2&4 tips the scales at only 893 pounds, the 0-to-60 mph sprint should take less than three seconds. Top speed is likely less impressive at around 140 mph, but its the acceleration and the handling that matter with these superlight vehicles.

Drivetrain Specifications

Conclusion

Honda Project 2&4

There’s no word as to whether Honda plans to prepare a production version of the Project 2&4 or not, but it’s very likely that this concept car will remain only a study. And that’s a shame really, as this motorcycle-powered car has everything it takes to give the likes of the Caterham Seven and Ariel Atom a run for their money. Sure, Honda would probably have to ditch the “floating seat” design in order to improve driver safety, but it’s not impossible. With the RA272-inspired design, Honda’s renowned reliability, and the outstanding power-to-weight ratio, the Project 2&4 could become an awesome, albeit probably expensive, track car.

LOVE IT

  • Vintage F1-inspired design
  • Race-bred motorcycle engine
  • Exotic seating configuration

LEAVE IT

  • Likely to remain just a concept
  • Not exactly safe for racing

Press Release

Honda Project 2&4 powered by RC213V’, the winning entry from Honda’s ‘Global Design Project’, will make its global debut at the 66th Frankfurt Motor Show at stand B11 in Hall 9.0.

Honda Project 2&4

Embodying the concept of ‘creative craftsmanship’, Honda Project 2&4 celebrates Honda’s position as the world’s leading engine manufacturer, providing engines to 28 million people per year across two- and four-wheel automotive, power equipment, marine and aerospace applications.

An example of the continuous effort by Honda to design an ever-more immersive driving experience, Honda Project 2&4 brings together the brand’s unique capabilities in two- and four-wheel mobility. Featuring the RC213V competition motorcycle engine, which has been modified to run on public roads, Honda Project 2&4 provides the freedom of a motorcycle and the manoeuvrability of a car.

Its exceptional power unit, developed for the world-class MotoGP motorcycle racing series and specially tuned for the public road, is a 999 cc V-4 four-stroke unit and conforms to Honda’s ‘The Power of Dreams’ guiding philosophy that inspires innovation and originality. Peak power output is over 215 PS at 13,000 rpm, while peak torque of over 118 Nm is delivered at 10,500 rpm. Transmission is provided by a six-speed DCT gearbox.

Inspired by the global creativity of one ‘Team Honda’

Over 80 designers and creators participated in the in-house ‘Global Design Project’ competition, which is part of Honda’s initiative to inspire creativity as one ‘Team Honda’.

The objective of the annual contest between Honda design studios is to challenge team and project members to share one goal and achieve high targets.

Honda Project 2&4 is an example of what this stimulating challenge can generate thanks to the differing qualities of each participant. Conceived by Honda’s motorcycle design studio in Asaka and designed in collaboration with the automobile design studio in Wako, Honda Project 2&4 seeks to create an intense driving experience by combining the most thrilling elements of riding a motorcycle with the most engaging characteristics of driving a car. The result not only showcases the creativity flowing through Honda’s design studios, but also challenges expectations of the future of mobility.

Honda Project 2&4

Conceived for immersive driving thrills

Drawing on Honda’s racing heritage, the body design and engine position has been inspired by the legendary Honda RA272 of 1965. The structure reveals the core frame and functional parts of the car, much as would be more customary for a bike, and is similarly compact. Overall length is 3,040 mm, width 1,820mm and height 995 mm. A resulting weight of just 405 kg maximises the impact of the power of the mid-mounted engine which, together with the low centre of gravity, ensures an exceptionally high level of responsiveness.

The exhilarating feeling created from the open cockpit is significantly enhanced by the driver’s seat, uniquely suspended just above the road. The ‘floating seat’ design places the driver as close to the action as possible, evoking the freedom of a bike and completing the immersion provided by Honda Project 2&4’s extreme performance, 14,000 rpm red line and unique engineering.

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