HONDA isn’t exactly lighting up the Formula One scene on its return to grand prix racing this year, but it has a rich history in the sport that goes back to its revolutionary high-revving, transverse-engined cars of the mid-1960s. It’s this heritage — in particular the RA 272 of 1965 — that the Japanese manufacturer says it has drawn upon in creating the Project 2&4 concept car for the Frankfurt motor show.
It is powered by a mid-mounted 999cc Honda RC213V MotoGP engine, which has been modified to run on public roads but produces “more than 212bhp” and is capable of revving to an ear-splitting 13,000rpm — the same red line as in the RA 272 (although technically the F1 engine could go to 14,000rpm).
As in the historic F1 car, weight has been kept to an absolute minimum: Project 2&4 is said to weigh just 405kg, which is 115kg lighter than even the Honda-powered Ariel Atom track-day car.
The driving position is, unusual, to say the least. Honda calls the open-sided design a “floating seat”, as its exposed position seems to suspend the driver just above the tarmac.
The Honda Project 2&4 is the 2015 winning entry from Honda’s Global Design Project, which brings together its car, motorcycle, marine, aerospace and lawnmower designers each year to create a single concept. In this case Honda’s automobile design studio in Wako, Japan, teamed up with colleagues from the motorcycle design studio in Asaka, three miles away.
Civic Tourer Active Life concept
Honda is showcasing another concept at Frankfurt this week: the Civic Tourer Active Life, which could be the ultimate car for serious cyclists.
Designed to show off the Civic Tourer’s cargo-carrying credentials (1,668 litres in the boot with the rear seats folded, and a low boot sill for easy loading), the concept features a “smart loading rack” capable of transporting two bicycles, plus a retractable arm that can be extended from the rack, making maintenance and repairs easier.
The car also has a built-in air pump, a large light located on the tailgate, a retractable bench and boot side linings that contain a toolbox, a bottle holder, a water tank and a front wheel holder. The aerodynamic roof box is designed to accommodate essential cycling accessories such as shoes and helmets.