Back in 2015, Honda debuted the Project 2&4 concept that blended the best elements of a motorcycle and a car. Now, Honda has filed a patent for a similar type of vehicle, and it has us wondering what the automaker has up its sleeve.
Recent patent documents include drawings of an open-air sports car with a cast-aluminum backbone chassis. The patent says the body structure requires relatively few components, and has one support member that can attach to parts needed for the steering, pedals, seat, and footrest. The structure is very light to improve fuel efficiency, and it's also stiff to "give the occupant a direct feel of acceleration like an automobile." Since this light frame can be produced using aluminum die casting, Honda should be able to shorten manufacturing times and reduce costs.
The drawings show the engine is mounted in the middle of the vehicle, much like the Project 2&4. Although the patent drawings show a four-wheel vehicle, the setup can also be used on a three-wheel vehicle or even a vehicle with more than four wheels, the patent says.
While the Project 2&4 was shown as a one-seater, this version appears to have two seats. But to reduce weight and improve fuel economy, the passenger seat can be removed in this model, the patent says. Furthermore, a protection member secures the vehicle at three key points to protect occupants in the event of a rollover.
We certainly wouldn't mind if Honda decided to bring the Project 2&4 to life. The car's striking design was inspired by the Honda RA272 Formula 1 car from 1965, but instead of using a V-12 engine, it featured a tiny 1.0-liter V-4 engine making 212 hp. This engine was said to be specially tuned for street driving. Remarkably, the concept weighed just 893 pounds.
Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office