Honda may have built some rather epic Formula 1 cars in times gone by but the accolade of the Japanese marque’s fastest ever vehicle has been taken by a speed demon powered by a tiny 660 cc engine.
Installed into the Honda S Dream Streamliner, this tiny engine borrowed from the Honda S660 sports car sent the vehicle to an average top speed of 261.875 mph (421.446 km/h) over the flying mile at Bonneville, setting a new world record for a vehicle in its class. It then average 261.96 mph (421.58 km/h) over the flying kilometer.
While the Streamliner’s engine is based around the S660’s, it has been extensively modified. In fact, the cylinder block, pistons, crankshaft and valves were all customized to help the tiny engine pump out more than triple its standard horsepower figure. Additionally, the lower block was replaced by one made of steel and the connecting rods were reinforced.
Prior to its record-setting run at Bonneville, the team had to redesign the vehicle’s canopy after its driver complained of a lack of visibility during testing. Initially, it was hoped a record would be set at Bonneville Speed Weeks but it wasn’t. Instead, the Honda crew was invited back to try and set a new benchmark and it did just that, thrashing the previous record of 227.7 mph (366.4 km/h).
Prior to its run, the fastest a Honda had ever travelled was the modified F1 car which sprinted to an average of 246.9 mph (397 km/h) over the flying mile at Bonneville in 2006.
Honda’s ‘Bonneville Speed Challenge’ project was launched last year and includes 16 members chosen from a pool of 100 volunteers.