Last November at the 2007 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Hot Wheels unveiled a troop of concepts to celebrate its 40th anniversary. These new Hot Wheels cars were not designed by everyone's favorite 1:64 scale model toy maker, but rather were all new designs penned by designers from Lotus, Chevy, Ford, Mitsubishi, Dodge and Honda. The Lotus Concept, Mitsubishi Double Shotz, Dodge XP-07, Gangster Grin from Ford, Chevroletor (GM), and Honda Racer, along with Hot Wheels' own HW-40, are going on tour around the United States in August, so keep an eye out.
The first of these concepts to actually become a toy will be the Honda Racer, the design of which is inspired by the 'H' in Honda's corporate logo. There's room for a driver and navigator in the side-by-side shape of the concept that features a paint scheme inspired by Honda's participation in F1 back in the day. A fictitious Honda V10 VTEC that displaces a theoretical 2.0L per cylinder (that's a 20-liter engine for those keeping score at home) powers the red-and-white racer. The Honda Racer's design, Guillermo Gonzalez, says rather than bean counters and engineers imposing restraints on his creativity, the only parameters when designing his Hot Wheels car were that it had to fit in the trademark orange track and be able to do a loop. With a 20L V10 and the assistance of good old gravity, we're sure a loop is well within its means. You'll be able to buy the Honda Racer next month when it begins arriving on store shelves in May. Until then, check out the high-res shots Honda released of the Honda Racer in our gallery below.
Hot Wheels 'Honda Racer' Turns Up the Heat in a 1/64th Scale Model
New Hot Wheels car designed by Honda depicts the ultimate racecar
Honda is announcing the arrival of the Honda Racer™, a much-anticipated 1/64th scale Hot Wheels® car designed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Torrance. The Honda model, along with designs from five additional automakers, were selected as part of the Hot WheelsDesigner's Challenge™ as a way to celebrate the die-cast brand's 40th anniversary. The Honda Racer arrives on store shelves in May 2008.
"The Honda Racer combines the excitement of Honda's racing heritage with Hot Wheels' reputation for speed, power, performance and attitude," says Guillermo Gonzalez, senior designer of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and designer of the Honda Racer. "The core concept is built around our idea for an 'ultimate racecar' and leverages the design freedom made possible by a scale model car."
The key element to the design of the entire car is that the body is in the shape of the Honda "H" emblem. The exterior shape resembles an imaginative side-by-side racecar of 1960s vintage that encloses a driver and a navigator. The general shape, styling and paint scheme is further inspired by Honda's early participation in Formula 1 racing and its 1967 RA 273™ racecar. The white and red paint scheme, the open cockpits, large exhaust system and open wheels are all elements inspired by the historic Honda racecar.
A powerful Honda V-10 VTEC® engine sits between the piloting team. If brought up to scale, the engine would displace an amazing 2.0 liters per cylinder. A set of velocity stacks and an intake that receives air through the body of the car sits between red DOHC valve covers to provide a technologically-advanced look. The exhaust system is a giant set of twisted, yet balanced tubes that reside high above the engine, complementing the power plant design at the back end of the car. The dynamic expression of technology, history and detail is evident throughout the design of the car.
"Sure, it is awesome to play with the cars on the orange track again, but I discovered that designing a Hot Wheels car is very different and in some ways more liberating than designing a production car," says Gonzalez, a native of East Los Angeles who considers automotive design to be his dream job. "For example, the primary design constraint is that the car had to fit on the orange track and perform a loop. Aside from that, the possibilities are without limit."
Mattel invited auto manufacturers to participate in the Hot Wheels Designer's Challenge as part of the die-cast brand's 40th anniversary celebration. The design of the Honda Racer debuted at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas in October as a 1/5th scale model.
Starting in mid-August, the Honda Racer 1/5th scale model and other cars from the Designer's Challenge will be part of the Hot Wheels 40th anniversary road trip traveling along historic U.S. Route 40, stopping at multiple cities along the way. The tour starts at the Mattel headquarters in El Segundo, California, in August and ends at Watkins Glen, New York, in early September. See www.hotwheels.com/40th for more information.
Honda Racer Technical Specifications
- Layout: Mid engine/ rear wheel drive
- Seating Capacity: 2
- Length x Width x Height (cm): 7.0 x 3.0 x 2.2
- Curb Weight: 40 grams
- Body/ Frame: Real die-cast metal, plastic
- Fuel: Gravity and a child's imagination
- Engine: Die-cast Honda V-10 (theoretical)
- Valvetrain: DOHC VTEC, four valves per cylinder (theoretical)
- Displacement: 20 liters/1220 cubic inches (theoretical)
- Suspension: Solid front and rear axles
- Tires: Low-friction hard plastic
About the Hot Wheels® Brand
Hot Wheels® cars revolutionized boys' toys in 1968 with an original line of super-fast, customized cars built for speed, power, performance and attitude. Now, 40 years later, Hot Wheels® is a global lifestyle brand that represents the coolest cars imaginable in scales from miniature to full-size. Hot Wheels® cars are also popular collectibles for adults and each year, introduces a new line-up of innovative vehicles, track sets and playsets.
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT, www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of 2008's "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE Magazine and among the 100 Most Trustworthy U.S. Companies by Forbes Magazine. Committed to ethical manufacturing sustainable business practices, Mattel marked a 10-year milestone in 2007 for its Global Manufacturing Principles. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.
Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of automobiles; motorcycles and ATVs; power products; marine engines; personal watercraft; jet engines; and, aircraft. Founded in Japan in 1948, Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary.