The Japanese automaker Honda didn’t become the world’s best selling engine manufacturer by resting on their laurels, in fact ever since the 1960s Soichiro Honda’s baby has been competing in the top tier of open wheel motor sports, Formula One. Despite withdrawing from competition last year, the current champion Brawn GP was born from the defunct Honda team. On this side of the pond we are more familiar with a different kind of high speed open wheel racing, the IRL, and Honda had quite a display set up at the largest specialty car show in the world, SEMA.
Honda had a few variations of open wheel competitors at the show in Las Vegas ranging from professional to grassroots efforts and even added a look into the future. Even though the Dallara Indy Racing League chassis is a non working show car, it was hard imagine anything other than the red and white winged wonder screaming as it climbs the high banked turns of a super speedway before rolling back into the throttle and rocketing down the back straight at 200 MPH. The other full sized single seater on display is the prototype Honda Formula F race car, intended for up and coming cash strapped SCCA racers, the Formula F is based around Honda’s 1.5 Liter four cylinder from the Fit as a cost effective racing solution.
Despite being trapped inside a glass case, the 2012 Indy Car Chassis Concept offered quite a view into the shape of things to come. Looking more like a stealth fighter then an Indy car, Honda promises to keep making things interesting well into the future. Aside from the cars, Honda had a few of their race engines on display as well, and the only way to get this good a look at the exotic power plants would be against the wishes of an angry pit mechanic. The display included a trio of championship winning CART V8s engines in both boosted and naturally aspirated forms as well as one very special IRL spec Indy V8. Having all these engines on display like this makes us laugh and think back to when we were nearly chased out of the paddock for snapping a few photos of the inside of an Indy car. Oh how the times have changed.