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Honda’s part-car, part-motorcycle Project 2&4 revealed ahead of Frankfurt

Honda sells a lot of cars, but it makes plenty of other motorized things as well. The Japanese company thought it was about time to build something that made use of this diverse experience, which is where its Project 2&4 comes in. Debuting at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, this concept blends elements of car and motorcycle design.

The result is a vehicle that looks like an oversized go-kart, and is powered by the 999-cc V4 from one of Honda’s MotoGP race motorcycles. The mid-mounted engine produces 215 horsepower and 81.5 pound-feet of torque, and is harnessed to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Honda did not discuss performance figures, but it’s not like there’s much vehicle to push around. The diminutive 2&4 is just 119 inches long, 71 inches wide, and 38 inches tall. It weighs just 900 pounds, and while the look may suggest a track car like the Ariel Atom or KTM X-Bow, the design is actually more inspired by Honda’s motorcycles than anything else.

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There’s virtually no bodywork, leaving all of the concept’s mechanical components exposed. There’s no cockpit either; the driver is suspended above the road on a “floating seat,” meant to give the impression of being on a motorcycle saddle. The seating position is still offset, as in a regular, so the driver is basically hanging off the side of the 2&4. That must be an interesting experience.

These unusual design ideas were the result of an in-house design competition that was intended to foster increased cohesion between Honda’s wide variety of business units. The 2&4 was originally conceived by Honda’s motorcycle design studio in Alaska, but came together with assistance from automotive designers in Wako, Japan.

While it would be interesting to see Honda produce and market a frivolous track toy to go alongside its more mainstream models, the Project 2&4 is likely to remain just a concept, showing what the Japanese company’s designers can do when they’re allowed to let their hair down.