By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
Honda’s latest concept is so bold that you couldn’t attract more attention if you ran down the street naked. Honda’s staged the global premiere of the “Project 2&4 powered by RC213V” at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. A winner of the Global Design Project competition between its design studios, the project represents the company’s drive to inspire and reward creative thinking.
“Creativity lives within you. Awaken it not just by thinking but by putting ideas into action,” said Soichiro Honda, Founder of Honda Motor Company.
Honda’s video that introduced the new concept prior to its auto show premiere asked the questions: “What if a bicycle had an engine? Creative ideas start with two words: ‘What if?.’ What if one of the world’s fastest motorcycle engines meets an automobile?”
“This competition was to stimulate Honda designers worldwide, which in turn will lead to create attractive products,” says Koji Miwa, Creative Director, Honda Motorcycle R&D Center. “The V4 engine of RC213V is mounted midship. The central backbone frame sits in the middle and is supported by four wheels.”
“Unlike a typical car, the engine and components are visible,” says Miwa. “The fusion of the exposed package and mechanical design will impress car enthusiasts. The design came from Honda’s first Formula 1 racing machine in hopes to ‘continue the challenge.’ Honda will always pursue new ideas beyond our imagination.”
Honda says the RC213V is not merely the result of a feedback of technologies created by Honda through its competition in races into a commercially available model, but rather represents a wholly new endeavor to make it possible for a machine developed for competition in MotoGP races to run on public roads.
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.
Honda says that as an example of the continuous effort to create ever-more immersive driving experiences, 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,” the Honda Project 2&4 blends the freedom of a motorcycle and the maneuverability of a car.
Its engine, a 999 cc V4 four-stroke unit, was originally developed for the world-class MotoGP motorcycle racing series and has been specially tuned for the concept.
The engine conforms to Honda’s “The Power of Dreams” philosophy that inspires innovation and originality. With a 14,000 rpm red line, the unit is mated to a six-speed DCT gearbox and delivers peak power of 215 PS at 13,000 rpm, and peak torque of 118 Nm at 10,500 rpm.
Drawing on Honda’s racing heritage, the body design and engine position have been inspired by the legendary Honda RA272 of 1965. The structure reveals the core frame and functional components of the car, like a motorcycle, and is similarly compact.
Overall length is 3,040 mm, width 1,820 mm and height 995 mm. A weight of just 405 kg maximizes the power of the mid-mounted engine which, together with the low center of gravity, should ensure a 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,” says Honda. “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 and unique engineering.”
News source and photos courtesy Honda Motor Europe Ltd. and Honda Motor Company.
Story ©2015 CarNichiWa.com