Honda UK have teamed up with British Touring Car Championship title-winning squad Team Dynamics for a very different challenge to their usual racing regimes, creating what is believed to be the world’s fastest lawn mower…
Dubbed ‘Project Mean Mower’, the macine will be capable of reaching an estimated 130mph with a 0-60 time of just four seconds thanks to a fearsome 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm, despite still crucially being able to complete its more known purpose – cutting grass.
2005-2006 BTCC championship winners, Team Dynamics, have re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor from the ground-up, adding an all-new fabricated chassis – custom-made from 4130 chromoly – to provide a strong, yet light machine, complete with a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV.
Helped along by the feedback of the Honda Yuasa Racing’s BTCC championship-winning drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, who have already been behind the wheel of the mean mower, the machine features a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system, plus a custom Cobra sports seat, Scorpion exhaust system and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor.
With weight-saving always a fine art in racing, the cutter deck was custom-made in fibre-glass, while ingenuity came to the fore when the grass bag became a fuel tank. Retaining its grass-cutting credentials, two electric motors on the cutter deck spin 3mm steel cutting cable at an incredible 4000rpm, the mower able to do its primary task at 15mph, more than double the flat-out speed of the original HF2620 from which it is derived.
Team Dynamics Team Manager, Pete Crolla, said: “One of the key challenges is that this has never been done before, to our knowledge, and so there are few learnings to call upon. From an engineering perspective, retaining the look of the mower, and the ability to still cut grass were the biggest challenge.”
Kate Saxton, Manager – Corporate Affairs, at Honda (UK) said: “Honda is a great believer in collaboration, pushing boundaries and creating extraordinary pieces of engineering. This project provided the perfect opportunity to not only highlight the breadth of our product offering but to also promote our sporty heritage and support our reputation as an innovative company. Above all else, we love a challenge!”