It was only around a year ago that Honda unveiled its Project 2&4 concept. What made the concept unique was that the two-seat, bare-bones sports car ran on a motorcycle engine. This made it more similar to a go-kart vehicle than your average car. At the time, the idea was met with skepticism and people didn’t really believe that Honda would make such a radical change in sports car design.
However, the company might just be a little too serious about its concept. Taking everyone by surprise, Honda has just filed for a patent that suggests the company’s interest in its radical design change.
Inspired from Project 2&4
Close inspection suggests that the patent is for a vehicle with a backbone chassis composed of cast-aluminum. Initial concept art depicts the suspension and a pair of seats along with four wheels connected to the chassis. Moreover, it reveals the location of the engine to be just behind the pair of seats, sending power to the rear end. Not only all this, but the minimal body shell illustrated in the patent looks very similar to the one in Project 2&4.
The Many Advantages of Honda’s Design
Those who questioned if Honda would actually make this radical a change are in for a treat. The afore-mentioned cast-aluminum chassis is firm, weighs very little, and can be produced quickly. All other parts of the car including the steering wheel, gauge cluster, pedals, and seats, are attached to this point. There are several benefits to this arrangement, one of them being that it can be altered according to the requirements of left-hand drive or right-hand drive markets.
There are specific areas in the cast of the chassis for different mechanical components. The frame in the rear is designed as a curve at the point where it meets the engine. This shape aims at letting cool air revolve around the power plant. The spine between the seats is extremely hollow, so much so that an entire fuel tank could fill the space. The patent also suggests that the vehicle could run on an electric motor, and an internal combustion engine is not entirely necessary.
The Future of the Chassis
The whole idea seems very interesting, but it is still too early to declare exactly what direction this chassis is headed in. The company does make the tiny S660 for Japan, so it’s not entirely unimaginable that Honda could manufacture a mid-engine sports car too. However, the odds are that the minuscule vehicle is irrelevant in this scenario. It is more likely that the technological advancements made in this direction will pop up in the most unlikely of places, for maybe future Hondas will feature cast-aluminum parts underneath their facades.
Many car enthusiasts are also anticipating that the incarnation of this vehicle might be in the form of a three-wheeler, much like the Polaris Slingshot. Honda’s research into the matter and all the technological developments the company makes are sure to be beneficial for the automotive industry. Ultimately, in whatever way Honda decides to make this radical change to sports car design, it’s sure to turn a lot of heads around the globe.