Honda's part car, part motorcycle fusion debuts in Frankfurt

(REUTERS) - 

What happens when you mix a car with a motorcycle? Honda's new concept design might be the answer.

Project 2&4, so named after Honda's two-wheel and four-wheel racing roots, made its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Designer Martin Petersson says it combines the freedom of a motorcycle with the manoeuvrability and stability of a car.

A 'floating seat' design amps up the thrill factor, putting the driver as close to the action as possible.

Mr Petersson said: "We focused much more on where we put the driver to give you that motorcycle experience of being exposed. In a car you're always inside a box somehow, but on a bike you're really outside and you're open to all the elements and all the sounds, the smells, the vibrations, heat, rain; whatever you can imagine, right. And that's the part of the motorcycle side that we wanted to get into this vehicle."

The open cockpit features a transparent heads-up display in front of the driver that doubles as a wind deflector.

It's high-power comes from the same engine developed for Honda's MotoGP racing bikes, namely a V-4 four-stroke engine with a peak power of 212 horsepower at 13,000 rpm.

The body design shows off the core frame and functional parts of the vehicle, much as would be normal for a bike.

Mr Petersson said: "This is very much designed with a motorcycle philosophy. So I'm a motorcycle designer normally, and for us it's completely normal for us to work with frame components, technical components, mechanical components; and we want to show them because we think they're sexy pieces."

Project 2&4 was designed to showcase Honda's initiative to inspire creativity, with no immediate plans to put it into production.

But Mr Petersson said if there was enough buzz around this concept a similar design could see the light of day.