When it comes to speed, Honda has proved its latest creation can really cut it. The grass that is.
A new speed milestone has been set by a 1000cc 109hp machine – but you won’t ever find it racing up the motorway.
That’s because the manufacturer’s record breaker is not a car; it’s a lawnmower.
In a successful world record attempt at the IDIADA Proving Ground in Tarragona, Spain, the lawnmower achieved a remarkable top speed of 116.57mph. This effort saw the Mean Mower smash the previous record by almost 30mph.
Driven by Piers Ward of BBC TopGear Magazine, the pace was measured through a 100-metre speed trap, with official Guinness adjudicators on hand to oversee proceedings.
In order to gain a world record speed, the mower had to complete the same run of the stretch in both directions within an hour. The average speed was then taken from these two runs.
However, it’s not just the speed that would give Honda the record. The model had to look like a lawnmower and prove it was able to cut the grass. Of course, it successfully met both of these criteria.
Mr Ward is no stranger to speedy grass-cutters. In fact, he was behind the wheel of the previous Honda world record attempt completed in May 2010.
After the judges from Guinness collected all the details, it was officially announced on March 8th 2014 that Honda had achieved yet another world record.
Ellie Ostinelli, PR communications manager for Honda UK, said: “The original brief for Mean Mower was to create the world’s fastest lawnmower – and now it officially is, by some distance!
“We are all delighted to hold a Guinness World Records title and we’d like to thank everyone who was involved in what has been a challenging yet incredibly exciting project.”
It wasn’t just a little bit of fun for Honda, the attempt was intended to demonstrate the manufacturer’s ‘spirit of innovation’ that allows it to produce top quality models and technologies. Furthermore, the brand wanted to emphasise that it creates more than just cars.
Of course, the successful attempt also highlighted Honda’s motorsport capabilities, with the Mean Mower designed and built by Team Dynamics – Honda’s British Touring Car Championship partner.
The team took a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor and re-engineered it from the ground up. This included adding a new custom-made fabricated chassis, a 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm and bespoke suspension and wheels taken from an ATV.
However, while the mechanics of the car were altered, the engineers had to ensure the lawnmower maintained its look in order to fit in with the record setting rules.
In order to cut down the weight of the machine, the cutter deck was redesigned using lighter fibre-glass.
Extra performance kit was added to the area where the grass bag sits, including a new fuel tank, high capacity oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator.
All this meant the lawnmower could reach a theoretical top speed in excess of 130mph, while sprinting from 0-60mph in just four seconds.
It’s a shame that you’d never be able to get your hands on one of these special machines. If you could, it would definitely make those Sunday gardening chores a little more exciting!
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