Let's start off with the specs: 109 horsepower, 309-pound curb weight and 0-60 mph in four seconds. Crazy numbers, but maybe you'll be comforted that the lawn mower is a Honda HF2620 in name only, with a custom chassis made of 4130 chromoly, a 1,000cc engine from a VTR Firestorm, a paddle-shifted six-speed transmission, a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV. The body was sourced from the production mower, however.
Sure, it can cut grass - at 15 mph, double the top speed of a regular HF2620 - using two electric motors spinning 3mm steel-cutting cables at 4000 rpm, but the grass bag has been reengineered to house the fuel tank, a high-capacity oil cooler and a secondary radiator. So much for that clean cut.
Honda says that it has topped 100 mph on track, but there's no video to verify this. (Please Honda!?) But there is a great teaser with reigning BTCC champion Gordon "Flash" Shedden mowing the lawn in a mean way, below.
UPDATE: A second video of the Mean Mower has been added below, this time featuring The Stig.
Meet Mean Mower...
The brief for Project Mean Mower was very straightforward. To build a super-fast mower which retained its original look, but, crucially, could still cut grass. The staggering result is a machine capable of reaching an estimated 130mph and 0-60 in just four seconds with an ear splitting roar reaching 130db.
Mean Mower has already been put through its paces by reigning BTCC champion and Honda Yuasa Racing driver Gordon 'Flash' Shedden - check out the video here http://bit.ly/MeanMower
For more images and all the latest updates on Mean Mower activities follow Honda (UK) on Facebook and Twitter or simply use #meanmower.
The Birth of Mean Mower
Team Dynamics 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, safe but very light platform. A 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm was used, along with a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV.
Every effort has been made to retain as much of the look of the original mower as possible. The cutter deck was custom-made in fibre-glass, to reduce weight, while, in a stroke of pure genius, the grass bag provides a happy home for the fuel tank, a high capacity oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator.
The ability to still cut grass was also a key element of the brief, and the super-fast mower still can, admirably, thanks to two electric motors on the cutter deck, spinning 3mm steel cutting cable at an incredible 4000rpm. The mower can cut grass at around 15mph, more than double the flat-out speed of the original HF2620 from which it is derived.
Based on feedback from Honda Yuasa Racing drivers, three times BTCC champion 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.
The result of this remarkable feat of engineering is a lawn mower set-up and geared to achieve a top speed in excess of 130mph, weighing just 140kgm, producing 96Nm of torque and an incredible PTW ratio of 532bhp/tonne. In testing to date the mower has topped 100mph on a circuit, belting out a remarkable 130db at three-quarter RPM and 98db at idle.
Kate Saxton, Manager – Corporate Affairs, at Honda (UK) comments:
"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!"
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, Pete Crolla, concludes:
"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."
Mean Mower's Vital Stats
Engine: VTR 1000F Firestorm (stock)
0-60: 4 seconds (est.)
MPG: 40 (est.) (when cutting)
Max. speed: 133 (est.)
Optimum RPM: 9,000
PTW ratio: 532bhp/tonne
Body: Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor
Chassis: Chromoly 4130 tubing (Custom-made)
Weight: 140kg (approx.)
Wheels & Tyres
Rear: Maxxis/Goldspeed 10 x 10
Front: Maxxis/Goldspeed 6 x 10
Pressure: .9 bar
Cutter deck: Fibre-glass (Custom-made)
Motors: 2 x 15amp, 4000rpm
Blades: 2 x 3mm steel cutting cable
Brakes: Honda TRX420 ATV
Steering: Morris Minor steering rack
Gears: Paddle shift
Fuel tank capacity: 15 litres
Exhaust system: Scorpion
Seat: Cobra (Custom-made)