“If you don’t believe in it I may as well give up and go home…” Never has a truer sentence been spoken at a motor show. These are the words of Honda Project 2&4 designer Martin Petersson, and I’ve just had the pleasure of having him show me around his creation.
Petersson has been a designer at Honda’s motorcycle division in Japan for the past six years. He’s had a brief stint designing BMW motorcycles, but his main work before that came at KTM. Where he worked on the design of the X-Bow.
“This started as an internal design competition, and more than 80 people took part,” he told me. “The brief was to use the V4 Moto GP engine on a four wheeled car. This is how I imagined it.”
Petersson’s design went all the way through the competition and onto the Frankfurt motor show stand. All in the project took around a year.
What does the car say about Honda, then? “It says we’ve a unique capacity for four and two wheels. We make everything, aeroplanes even. We’re different, and sometimes merge stuff. This comes right down to our slogan, the power of dreams.”
The key question then, will Honda build it? Petersson, a man who designs everything from scooters to Dakar racing bikes at Honda, has made sure the tiny 405kg machine can be adapted to meet relevant safety legislation, so the decision is very much in the hands of the grown-ups at Honda.
“We should make it, I wish we could…,” said Petersson with a glint in his eye. “It’s not too crazy to do. There’s lots of bike parts, such as the suspension and brakes. The pedals are from a car. To make a central backbone frame like this is not too complicated, it’s the same as on a bike but scaled up.
“We’ll take it step by step, day by day, that’s the hope [it making production].
“It depends on what’s written, and the reactions to it. There are always possibilities. We’ve done crazy stuff in the past. If you don’t believe in it I may as well give up and go home.”
Honda, if you’re reading this: make it, make it now, and we’ll see the finished version in time for the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. Or sooner if you’d be so kind. Thank you.