Honda’s Mean Mower has officially broken the Guinness World’s title for the Fastest lawnmower, averaging 187.60km/h (116.57mph) to break the previous record by over 45km/h.
The successful Guinness World Records attempt took place under the watchful eye of a Guinness World Records Adjudicator at the IDIADA Proving Ground, in Tarragona, Spain, on Saturday 8th March 2014. Behind the wheel was Piers Ward of BBC TopGear Magazine, who had previously achieved a fastest speed on Mean Mower of 140km/h (87mph). At around 16:20 CET on the 2000km North Straight at IDIADA, Piers eclipsed the previous record of 141.35km/h (87.83mph), set in May 2010.
The speed was measured through a 100 meter speed trap, overseen by official timers, Timing Solutions Limited. To meet Guinness World Records regulations the mower had to record the same run, in both directions, within an hour – with the average speed taken of these two runs. Additionally, to qualify for the record it needed to cut grass and to look like a lawnmower; both of which it did successfully. With all of these criteria met, the Guinness World Records Adjudicator officially declared the success of the record attempt just before 18:00 CET on Saturday 8th March.
Kate Saxton, Manager – European PR Communications for Honda Motor Europe comments: “The original brief for Mean Mower was to create the world’s fastest lawnmower – and now it officially is, by some distance! We are all delighted to hold a Guinness World Records title and we’d like to thank everyone who was involved in what has been a challenging yet incredibly exciting project.”
The idea for Mean Mower was to demonstrate Honda’s sprit of innovation, its motor sport heritage, and that it makes more than just cars. Mean Mower was designed and built in the UK by Honda (UK)’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) partner, Team Dynamics. The team re-engineered a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor from the ground-up, adding an all-new fabricated chassis, custom-made from 4130 chromoly (high carbon steel) to provide a strong, safe but very light platform. A 1000cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm was used, along with a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV.
Every effort was made to retain as much of the look of the original mower as possible. The cutter deck was custom-made in fibre-glass, to reduce weight, while, in a stroke of pure genius, the grass bag provides a happy home for the fuel tank, a high capacity oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator.
The ability to still cut grass was also a key element of the brief, and the super-fast mower still can, admirably, thanks to two electric motors on the cutter deck, spinning 3mm steel cutting cable at an incredible 4000rpm. The mower can cut grass at around 24km/h (15mph), more than double the flat-out speed of the original HF2620 from which it is derived.
Based on feedback from Honda Yuasa Racing drivers, three times BTCC champion Matt Neal and 2013 champion Gordon Shedden, the mower features a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system. Additionally it has a custom-made Cobra sports seat, a Scorpion exhaust system and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor.
The result of this remarkable feat of engineering is a lawn mower set-up and geared to achieve a top speed in excess of 209km/h (130mph), weighing just 140kg, producing 96Nm of torque, an incredible PTW ratio of 532bhp/tonne; and an estimated 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just four seconds.
Safety was paramount to the project, so every effort has been made to make the mower stable and secure. To achieve optimum balance, ATV wheels have been used – ideal because ATV racing is held on rough off-road tracks. Super-soft tyres ensure optimum grip and excellent handling on the tarmac. Additionally, every effort was made to use Honda parts, where possible, including brakes and several motorcycle components. Almost everything else has been custom-made by Team Dynamics and its partners.
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