Coming to a track near you: Honda’s new motorcycle-race car hybrid

CNN  — 

Honda has combined its expertise on two and four wheels to create a stunning single-seat track-day car.

The Project 2&4 concept is showing for the first time in Japan at this month’s Tokyo Motor Show. It is the winner of an in-house contest between Honda’s bike and car designers, based in Asaka and Wako, Japan respectively.

Honda says the car combines “the most thrilling elements of riding a motorcycle with the most engaging characteristics of driving a car.” Powered by Honda’s MotoGP RC213V engine, modified to run on public roads, the car weighs just 405kg.

To put that into perspective, if Project 2&4 goes into production it’s likely to be up against the Ariel Atom – one of today’s track-day stars – which weighs in at 520kg.

The mid-mounted 999cc V4 engine, which develops more than 212bhp, together with a low center of gravity, ensures an exceptionally high level of responsiveness, according to Honda. Transmission is provided by a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, controlled via paddles behind the steering wheel.

Central to this experience is the open cockpit and unique floating seat, uniquely suspended just above the road, giving the same sense of freedom as riding a bike. Project 2&4 is also very compact, measuring 3.05m in length, 1.82m wide and just 0.995m high.

Inspiration for the car came from Honda’s legendary RA272 Grand Prix racer which 50 years ago became the first Japanese car to win a Formula One race with American Richie Ginther at the wheel.

The concept was unveiled earlier in the year at the Frankfurt Motor Show.