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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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