Our Automologist, MAC, finds out that even great cars can come in small packages.
Part race car, part motorcycle, but fully barmy is probably the best way to describe the latest offering from those whacky folks over at Honda where someone in the design department obviously took the memo about downsizing just a tad too seriously. After a very short teaser campaign, Honda has pulled the wraps off their latest little offering, the diminutive Project 2&4, a vehicle obviously designed to get into the market niche currently dominated by the likes of the Caterham 620R and the Ariel Atom, which incidentally also has a Honda power plant, albeit from their car division.
The Project 2&4 is the result of an in-house design competition involving designers from both the car and bike divisions of Honda, with the winning design being described as a ‘cabinless’ sports car that, Honda says, combines ‘the freedom of a motorcycle and the manoeuvrability of a car’. Certainly the exposed and ‘floating’ driver’s seat promises to capture the open-to-the-elements thrill of bike-riding with the added advantage that it will be a lot harder to fall off.
The lightly faired 2&4 four-wheeler is powered by a modified version of Honda’s 999cc RC213V MotoGP V4 four-stroke mated to a six-speed DCT gearbox. Though the 2&4 looks like a pure track car, the engine has been tuned for public roads, although I somehow doubt that anybody would be silly enough to drive it around any city that I frequent. For the engineers out there, you may like to know that it puts out 212 bhp at 13,000 rpm and 87 lb-ft at 10,500 rpm, going to a redline at 14,000 rpm, but I can’t find any other performance figures at this time.
The livery is a massive nod to the company’s 1965 RA272 F1 car which first won a Grand Prix some 50 years ago, and from which the design team is said to have drawn inspiration. Weighing in at just over 400 kilo’s the Project 2&4 has an engine mounted amidships within the very visible framework. Honda has dropped the off-centre floating seat down to a position just inches over the ground, helping maintain the lowest possible centre of gravity while giving the driver freedom and feel for the road usually reserved for motorcycles.
I doubt very much that it would be much fun driving around the roads of any city but just one look at this pocket rocket makes me want to slide into the seat and see just what that little beauty can do.