September 13, 2015 weblog
Bike freedom driving experience beckons in Honda Project 2&4
Car marketers talk about the "driving experience" as much as they do about the car's ability to start, run and brake. When it comes to the so-called driver experience, nothing much beats the experience of a motorcycle, at least for those who like the experience of biking on the open roads.
So why not engineer a car with an open cockpit experience for the driver's seat, suspended just above the road? A 'floating seat' design where the driver is as close to the action as possible?
Honda's design and engineering teams pulled this off, with a modified competition motorcycle engine to run on public roads. The result is the Honda Project 2&4, with transmission provided by a six-speed DCT gearbox.
A key feature about this interesting vehicle is its floating seat design. "The Project 2&4's floating seating design simultaneously evokes both a sport bike and a go-kart," said Chris Bruce, Associate Editor, Autoblog.
C.C. Weiss in Gizmag also noted how Honda "dropped the off-center floating seat down to a position just inches over the ground, helping maintain the lowest possible center of gravity while giving the driver freedom and feel for the road usually reserved for motorcycles."
Honda referred to "the power of the mid-mounted engine which, together with the low center of gravity, ensures an exceptionally high level of responsiveness."
Honda also made note that the power unit, developed for the MotoGP motorcycle racing series and specially tuned for the public road, is a 999 cc V-4 four-stroke unit.
In light of the body's styling, Bruce was reminded of the RA272 Formula One car from the 1960s, "but then you notice the weird driver's seat that's fully exposed and suspended just inches above the road."
Peak power output is over 215 PS at 13,000 rpm; peak torque of over 118 Nm is delivered at 10,500 rpm.
SlashGear said, "It's about as close as you can get to a motorcycle with four wheels with a bit of F1 car thrown in the mix."
Forget about seeing a dashboard, and you won't see a windshield. The driver gets a steering wheel and a glass panel for the instruments, said Autoblog.
The whole vehicle weighs just 893 pounds (405kg).
The vehicle concept was conceived by Honda's motorcycle design studio in Asaka and they collaborated in design with the studio in Wako. "The result," said Honda, "not only showcases the creativity flowing through Honda's design studios, but also challenges expectations of the future of mobility."
The Project 2&4 will be on display at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.
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