With the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in its summer break, Team Dynamics – the team behind the works Honda programme – has been hard at work on a new project alongside Honda UK.
'Project Mean Mower' saw the team work to build a super-fast lawn mower capable of still doing the job it has been designed for, but which is also capable of travelling at high-speed.
The end result - thanks to an all-new fabricated chassis, a 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm and bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV – is a machine that is said to be capable of hitting 60mph in just four seconds and could go on to a top speed more than 130mph.
Based on feedback from Honda's BTCC pairing Matt Neal and reigning champion Gordon Shedden, the mower features a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system.
Additionally it has a custom-made Cobra sports seat, a Scorpion exhaust system and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor.
"Honda is a great believer in collaboration, pushing boundaries and creating extraordinary pieces of engineering,” Kate Saxton, Manager – Corporate Affairs, at Honda (UK) said. “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!”
Safety is paramount to the project, so every effort has been made to make the mower stable and secure. To achieve optimum balance ATV wheels have been used – ideal because ATV racing is held on rough off-road tracks. Super-soft tyres ensure optimum grip and excellent handling on the tarmac.
Every effort has been made to use Honda parts, where possible, including brakes and several motorcycle components. Almost everything else has been custom-made by Team Dynamics and its partners.
Team Dynamics team manager, Peter Crolla insisted that the project had been one of the more challenging that the multiple title winners have taken on.
“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.”