Honda Project 2&4 .pdf
Original filename: Honda Project 2&4.pdf
Title: Evo - December 2015 UK
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News • AmbitioN • tech • t yres • esseNtiAls • coNNectiVit y • wAtches
N 2025 308 R
ReNaultspoRt baja geaRboxes
by stuArt gAllAgher
ou cAN’t help but feel thAt
2015 has been a year of mixed emotions
for honda. it started with great hopes
and expectations with a return to formula 1
by teaming up with old flame mclaren, a
pairing that needed little introduction inside
or outside of the paddock. then there was the
anticipation building for the arrival of the new
NsX, a hybrid supercar to offer all the tech of
the holy trinity of hypercars for a fraction of
the price. And, of course, there was the small
matter of the fastest front-wheel-drive car ever
to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife – hello
new civic type r. so far, so good.
unfortunately for honda, only one of these
hopes has delivered, and even then the civic
can’t be hailed as a rip-roaring success after
finishing fourth in a group test in evo 212.
honda PRoJECT 2&4
The NSX, meanwhile, is delayed.
Again. It was due to be launched in
summer 2015 but a decision was
made to redesign the powertrain and
essentially start over again. At this
rate it will be due a facelift before
it’s been driven by anyone outside
of the company. And as for the F1
return? Farcical. Embarrassing.
Potentially career-ending for one
British driver. Put simply, Honda has
been found wanting and is on the
verge of undoing generations of hard,
work in one season.
But there is hope. At September’s
Frankfurt motor show, as the NSX
spun forlornly on Honda’s stand,
next to it was a vision of what gets
us so excited about the world’s
largest engine manufacturer and the
potential it has when it puts its mind
to innovative engineering. Few, if any,
other car makers can match Honda in
this regard, and where rivals spend
resources on hoverboards, Honda
delivers the ‘Project 2&4’.
The concept, and sadly it is only a
concept for the time being, is the result
of Honda’s Global Design Project, an
annual contest among the company’s
design studios to create a single
vehicle that best represents Honda’s
philosophy. The 2&4 was created by
Honda’s motorcycle design team in
Asaka, Japan, in collaboration with
the company’s automobile design
studio in Wako, also in Japan.
To evo, the Project 2&4 embodies
everything that we remember from
Honda’s past in terms of innovation
and creativity, but it also reminds
us what’s been lacking from the
company in recent years.
The Project 2&4 is a vehicle
by STUART GALLAGHER
The chassis owes more to
Honda’s motorbike roots
than to the company’s cars.
It is in essence an expanded
aluminium motorbike frame
with a carbonfibre floor
suspended beneath it. This
floor has been designed to
The colour scheme is a
homage to Honda’s 1965
F1 car, the RA272. The V12engined slimline machine
was the first Japanese car
to win in F1: it led from start
to finish at the Mexican GP.
American Richie Ginther
took the victory.
The 90-degree V4 is the
same detuned MotoGP
engine Honda fits to its
RC213V-S road bike. The
crank, main and counter
shafts are arranged in
a triangular formation,
shortening the 999cc motor
to the same size as an
800cc unit. Peak power is
212bhp at 13,000rpm.
S E AT
The single-piece carbonseat appears to float on
top of the chassis, but is in
fact connected to the car’s
carbon floor. The design
is intended to provide the
thrills of riding a superbike
but with the engagement of
driving a sports car.
5 BRAKES &
Honda has looked to its
motorbike suppliers for the
brakes, which use four-pot
Brembo calipers, and
adjustable dampers, which
are from Öhlins. The wheels
are entirely bespoke.
370 8 200
than an Ariel Atom
Doe s a Hon da engine in
an aluminium f rame with
minimal bod y work sound
familiar? It should do. It’s
a formula that Ariel ha s
per fec ted with its Atom
(albeit with a 2- litre c ar
engine). Nearly 20 years
af ter Ariel wa s foun ded,
Hon da ha s realised it ha s
all the ingredients to do
There is no ins trument binnacle
in the Projec t 2&4. Ins tead, data
is projec ted onto a clear screen
mounted on the s teering column.
by Stuart GallaGher
that grabs you from every angle.
It’s shorter than an ariel atom by
370mm, but it’s as low as a Caterham
and not much wider. Its blend of
aluminium and naked carbonfibre
with minimalist bodywork draws you
into every area of its design.
But it’s the 2&4’s mechanical
elements that really fascinate.
Positioned behind the single, onepiece carbon seat is a detuned
rC213V V4, four-stroke motorbike
engine. For those of you not familiar
with Marc Márquez, it’s the same
engine that powers his race-winning
MotoGP bike. rather than sending
power through the bike’s six-speed
sequential gearbox, there is a
double-clutch unit controlled by a
pair of paddleshifters behind the
tiny, removable, alcantara-wrapped
a skeleton chassis means some
of the best bits of the drivetrain
are exposed, such as the titanium
exhaust that snakes around the
engine and exits high-up through
the rear bodywork. Incidentally, the
inspiration for the design and colour
scheme of the bodywork comes from
honda’s 1965 V12-engined ra272
Formula 1 car.
the beauty of concept status is
that it has allowed honda’s project
managers and designers to run riot
with the details, our favourite being
how conventional instrument dials
are eschewed for a head-up display
comprising a translucent wind
deflector onto which data is projected
there’s also no need for obstructive
and ungainly aero addenda because
the carbon floor and chassis that the
body appears to float upon has been
designed to channel air as effectively
as possible under and over the car.
and then there are the adjustable
Öhlins dampers and the Brembo
brakes taken from the MotoGP bike,
the bespoke magnesium wheels, the
laser strip that acts as headlights, the
14,000rpm red line… Please, honda,
build this car. and quickly.
Peak power of the
2&4’s 999cc V4 engine
A motorbike torque
Peak power arrives at double the revs of an SLS
For a power-to-weight
ratio of 532bhp per ton
WILL They BuILd IT?
Currently Hon da ha s no plans to
build the Projec t 2&4, although it will
of course c aref ully gauge re sponse
to the concept f rom the pre s s an d
The Projec t 2&4 is the shot
in the arm Hon da de sperately
needs to regain the los t credibilit y
surrounding the NSX an d Formula 1
projec ts . O f all the Japane se c ar
manufac turers , Hon da wa s always
the one mos t led by innovation, but
in recent years it ha s f loundered an d
delivered a range of c ars that have
followed the crowd.
The 2&4 doe sn’t need to be a
serie s- produc tion c ar. It would work
a s a limited - run model, with no more
than 100 units , to spur enthusia sm
for the brand an d get people talking
about Hon da in a positive light once
a gain. Think along the line s of the
Renault Spor t Spider of the mid ’90s , but more ex treme.
A single -seat, motorbike - engined,
aluminium -f ramed, c arbon - bodied
machine f rom a company that builds
c ars such a s the Ja z z will be hard to
jus tif y to the produc t planners, but
Hon da needs Projec t 2&4 to show
ever yone it ha s s till got a pulse.