A publication by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealed that Honda is still looking into the Project 2&4 Concept. Officially unveiled during the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Project 2&4 Concept was the result of the collaboration between the automotive engineers of Honda and its motorcycle engineers. This concept car was powered with a 999cc V4 engine capable of delivering output at 212 hp (158 kW) with peak torque of 87 lb.-ft. (118 Nm). Overall weight meanwhile was 893 lbs. (405 kg).
Published on February 16, 2017, the said patent was first filed back in August 2016. Looking at the filing itself, it reveals a body structure that comes with a backbone frame that goes through the vehicle’s center. Meanwhile, the sketches show that it has some similarities to the basic show car shown some years back.
Based on the filing, Honda believes that by utilizing a beam made of die-cast aluminum, it can create a body structure that would use fewer parts. In addition, it would also enhance stiffness to the point that an occupant would actually feel the acceleration much like an automobile. Further, it would also help lower the overall weight. The patent filing added that the production process itself would also be simple, given that the needed parts would be bolted to the supports that protrude from the center spine. This would be the same mounting process used for the seats, pedals, and even the steering.
It is not only about the structure as Honda also gave a glimpse of the powertrain and how it would work. By making an opening in the backbone frame, it would make it possible to fit the powertrain inside, which could be either an electric motor or even a combustion engine. A hollow segment would also be placed on the spine where the fuel tank could be placed. Based on the patent, it is possible to attach either one wheel or two wheels at the back.
Safety is not compromised as well, given that Honda has two plans in this regard. The first is to use inflatable airbags placed on the front of the seat and another at the back of it. The second option is to utilize telescoping rods instead which would ensure support even when a rollover occurs.
It should be noted however that just because Honda has a filed a patent for this concept car does not mean a production version will come out. At the very least, Honda is merely protecting this concept and preventing others from using it. Still the filing of the patent could be a sign that Honda may be looking into releasing an actual model in the future.
For those who have been following Project 2&4, it is not much of a surprise considering that Honda designer Martin Petersson revealed to Top Gear back in 2015 that the brand has not yet closed the book on Project 2&4. According to Petersson, the project has been positive and there will indeed be a next step as it would be unlikely to complete this in a basement.