Honda Project 2&4 concept

There's not much to the Honda Project 2&4. The open-wheel racer concept is likely the most bare-bones debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The result of an in-house design contest that included both the automotive and motorsports divisions, Project 2&4 is half car, half motorcycle, and all amazing.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

At each corner, 17-inch alloy wheels of a 20-spoke design are shod in race-ready Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R tires. The car is so light (893 pounds) and low that 215mm wide treads should offer plenty of grip.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The project's suspension is also simple: a double wishbone setup at each corner with a set of Öhlins coilovers controlling the movement.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

What makes Project 2&4 unique is its "floating seat" design, which suspends the driver just inches above the asphalt.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The non-cockpit is supposed to blend the open feel of piloting a motorcycle with the driving character and controls of a car.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The instrumentation is the most "conceptual" part of this concept car.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Rather than a traditional gauge cluster, the Project uses a pico projector to cast a digital head-up display onto a piece of two-way mirror.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

I could barely read the gauges indoors, so I'm convinced they'd be unreadable in direct sunlight. Still, the idea looks cool enough and probably doesn't weigh much.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The driver controls the vehicle with a flattened racing steering wheel and paddle shifters.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

There are only two pedals in the box because the concept's six-speed dual-clutch transmission doesn't need a clutch pedal.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Somewhere between the rear wheels, the RC213V engine screams. This is the same engine you'll find in Honda's MotoGP racing bike of the same name.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Output peaks at a stated 212 horsepower and just 87 pound-feet of torque.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

On paper, Project 2&4 doesn't have much power, but consider that it weighs just 893 pounds without a driver. (A Mazda Miata, by comparison, weights around 2,200 pounds.) In this light, it sounds like a whole lot more fun.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Like the RC213V sport bike, the concept's 999cc engine has a lofty 14,000rpm redline.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Both the powertrain and the driver sit low in the chassis, giving the concept a center of mass that's not much taller than the hubs of its wheels.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Up front and out back, illumination is handled by LED clusters integrated into the design of the chassis.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Though low and compact, Project 2&4 is quite wide.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Imagine a car that's 3 feet shorter than a Honda Fit from nose to tail and as wide as a Honda Accord, but where the driver sits at eye level with these cars' license plates.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Exhaust exits via two tips at the rear end.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Aside from the engine, motorcycle-inspired touches like this fuel cap can be found throughout the concept.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda has announced no plans to build or race Project 2&4. Officially, it's purely a design exercise.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

With such a simple, yet dramatic design, I'm tempted to break out a welder and build one myself.

Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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