The Stig test drives 130mph lawnmower
A 130mph lawnmower built by Honda after TopGear Magazine challenged them to build the fastest one ever has taken to the track.
The MeanMower is loosely based on the Honda HF2620 ride-on, but was stripped and re-built by Honda's British Touring Car experts at Team Dynamics, adding a spaceframe chassis, a 1000cc Honda VTR Firestorm motorbike engine, bespoke suspension and tyres from a racing ATV.
The mower managed 100.03mph on the back straight of the Circuit de Charade testing course in France at TopGear Magazine's annual Speed Week event and the team behind it may attempt to have an official go at the lawnmower speed record, which stands at 96.5mph, set by fuel additive firm Gold Eagle in September 2010.
"With the Top Gear lawn to mow and a Stig on the staff, it seemed perfectly normal to work with Honda to create this thing," said BBC TopGear Magazine's Piers Ward. "Though I have to say, having driven it, I've never been so terrified. It accelerates like a rocket and, like any mower, there aren't any seatbelts."
Despite looking like the standard mower, the Honda now produces 109bhp and 71lb ft – making it theoretically capable of zero to 60mph in under four seconds, and a record-breaking top speed of around 130mph. And it still cuts grass.
Ellie Ostinelli, Honda (UK) said: "Our brief was very straightforward; we wanted a super-fast lawnmower which retained the look of a mower, but above all else, it needed to still cut grass. Honda is a great believer in pushing boundaries…and we love a challenge."
Team Dynamics team manager Peter Crolla added: "To our knowledge, this has never been done before, certainly using this mower/engine and Stig combination.
“Our biggest engineering challenge was the need to retain the look of the lawn mower and the ability to still cut grass. The engine's low weight and exceptionally accessible performance has been the key ingredient for the project."
A video of the Stig driving the MeanMower is available here.
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