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We may have found out that Honda will not be debuting the Civic X in Frankfurt, but that doesn't mean Big Red won't have something substantial to show.

Taking a page from VW, Honda will be bringing a V4 powered, "cabinless", open wheeled car intended for the street. Called Project 2&4, the car makes use of the same 999cc V-4 powerplant that was just lifted from Dani Pedrosa's MotoGP bike and fitted to the road going RC213V-S.

Most interesting is how Honda intends to use the V4 in the future, Cycle World’s Kevin Cameron asked Honda’s Yoshituke Hasegawa about their V plans moving forward, he answered bluntly, “We have at present a split between inline and V-4, but the V-4 revolution has begun.”

The concept was borne through collaboration between Honda's motorcycle and automotive design houses located less then 10 minutes from one another in Saitama.

While Honda's plans for the motorcycle motivated Formula car are murky at best, could they see a high revving 1.0L 4 cylinder as the potential sharp and sporty element they've been missing for too long?
 

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You don't hear much about v4 engines... are there any big gains/losses comparing a v4 to and i4 in terms of application in cars? Is a v4 capable of making the same displacement and power as an i4?
 

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I thought the only difference was the placement of the cylinders? Inline is just 4 of them in a line and V4 is just two on one side and two on the other. Something about V4 delivering better torque too but don't quote me on that.
 

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You don't hear much about v4 engines... are there any big gains/losses comparing a v4 to and i4 in terms of application in cars? Is a v4 capable of making the same displacement and power as an i4?
V's definitely deliver better torque. The V4 is certainly a mythical breed, but its LOVED in the moto world. Honda has been missing a large opportunity IMO, they've long kept the V4 consigned to touring bikes when every rocket jockey and their uncle is begging them to stuff it into the CBR and go Ducati hunting... But i digress...

Porsche just won Le Mans using a V4. they also have the benefit of being EXTRMELY compact which may be beneficial if Honda looks to couple it with a hybrid system or something...

Compared to an inline-four, the advantages of the V4 engine include compactness, short length along the crankshaft, and, with a 90° V-angle, perfect primary balance giving a smooth and nearly vibration-free operation.

A disadvantage is that, as with a V-twin, it is more difficult to locate ancillaries, inlet systems, and exhaust systems. A V4 is usually more expensive to produce than an equivalent in-line four, having double the number of cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, and inlet and exhaust systems. Also, while a V-4 is essentially two V-twins side-by-side, a V4 can have a rocking couple that is not present in a V-twin. The compact 60° V4 is not perfectly smooth and needs a balance shaft.

In modern times, the V4's advantages have made it particularly suitable for motorcycles and outboard motors; but the advantages in a car have been found not to be worth the expense, especially as access for maintenance can become more difficult.[citation needed]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V4_engine

Honda could get around the cost of production thing if they intend to share the motor between cars and bikes... AND this would be a REAL throwback to old school Honda...like the original Honda S roadsters that used chain drives and motorcycle engines >:)>:)
 

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I thought the only difference was the placement of the cylinders? Inline is just 4 of them in a line and V4 is just two on one side and two on the other. Something about V4 delivering better torque too but don't quote me on that.
yea, usually cylinders are grouped 1 and 3, 2 and 4.

I think the torque thing comes from a longer stroke IIRC. Again IIRC, the longer stroke reduces piston speeds which is why V engines on Ducatis for example have lower redlines then a rev happy I4. Even think about the K's, super rev happy, gutless torque... they were rev happy because they were making tons of power at the higher end of the rev band...

I may have mixed up a thing or two... experts please correct me if need be :D0:)
 

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Interesting. Thanks for the info!!! I'm a car enthusiast, but my actual technical engineering knowledge is limited. (i know specs, no idea how most of it all works mechanically).

Seems like there are some interesting perks to using a V4 over an i4, but the higher production cost etc probably does keep honda from spreading V4 engines to their cars nowadays. Though with the new turbos Honda seems pretty committed to torque, which is a huge change of their age old mantras, so maybe the V4 would be an interesting engine to use in certain applications (hybrids, the S660/S1000, etc) kind of like the rotary motor with mazda, the V4 could be a specialty engine reserved for its sportier niche vehicles. Though, i know honda also likes appealing to the tuner crowd and the V4 seems alot less tuner friendly than an i4 because of more complicated access/maintenance points.
 

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Interesting. Thanks for the info!!! I'm a car enthusiast, but my actual technical engineering knowledge is limited. (i know specs, no idea how most of it all works mechanically).

Seems like there are some interesting perks to using a V4 over an i4, but the higher production cost etc probably does keep honda from spreading V4 engines to their cars nowadays. Though with the new turbos Honda seems pretty committed to torque, which is a huge change of their age old mantras, so maybe the V4 would be an interesting engine to use in certain applications (hybrids, the S660/S1000, etc) kind of like the rotary motor with mazda, the V4 could be a specialty engine reserved for its sportier niche vehicles. Though, i know honda also likes appealing to the tuner crowd and the V4 seems alot less tuner friendly than an i4 because of more complicated access/maintenance points.
definitely loses the LEGO characteristics that seem to make Hondas popular... But then again, the high end tuning crowd has moved on from the Civic for the most part... they still hang on to the old EK's and what not but nothing modern (for the most part)... I just think that the V4 could provide something exciting and exotic to tuners. Especally if they plan on using it elsewhere...( i wrote in another thread V4 CTR, or even in an Acura it could find successful life...) there would be opportunity for the after market to support it. Cross-polinating with Honda bikes would also add to the aftermarket support IMO.

Even the manufacturing thing I'm not so sure is a significant hurdle... I mean ostensibly the two little V heads would use the same amount of material as one inline head... If they just added a divider or something to the casting mould they could still produce the two heads needed within the same footprint as the inline block, using the same material... (obviously their solution wouldn't be this crude, but I'm just arbitarially speculating on production processes). If they can figure out enough places to use it I don't see the innitial costs as being prohibitive either...

But what do i know... I'm just a fisherman who don't know nothing ;)
 

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I had two Honda 750 VFR motorcycles which are 90 deg V4 engines and the primary advantage is smoothness because of the perfect primary balance as Smartie pointed out. The crankshaft can be shorter and lighter than an inline 4, and this is why some motorcycle racing engines are V4s, but the theoretical lightness advantage never materialized on the Honda VFR. It is a heavy pig of a motorcycle with a really sweet engine. The main disadvantage of the config for most people is maintenance, especially valve maintenance as you have two banks--one usually really hard to access, two valve covers that can leak, twice as many cams to remove if the valve adj. system is shim-over-bucket, etc.

Saab is the only car I can think of that had a V4 engine in the US.
 

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Great explanation Smartie! I'm not too familiar with the technical aspects of cars but it would be nice if Honda stuck a V4 engine into a sporty car in the future. Maintenance may be a pain but for those who aren't tuners, the company maintenance package should cover it.
 

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I had two Honda 750 VFR motorcycles which are 90 deg V4 engines and the primary advantage is smoothness because of the perfect primary balance as Smartie pointed out. The crankshaft can be shorter and lighter than an inline 4, and this is why some motorcycle racing engines are V4s, but the theoretical lightness advantage never materialized on the Honda VFR. It is a heavy pig of a motorcycle with a really sweet engine. The main disadvantage of the config for most people is maintenance, especially valve maintenance as you have two banks--one usually really hard to access, two valve covers that can leak, twice as many cams to remove if the valve adj. system is shim-over-bucket, etc.

Saab is the only car I can think of that had a V4 engine in the US.
and how did you find them in terms of maintenance and reliability? I mean they are hondas... LOL
 

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With regard to maintenance and reliability they are amazing. The earlier Honda VFR engines had gear-driven cams so there was no timing chain to stretch, break, or degrade the valve timing. They were very solid engines that would go and go and go.
 

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Just realized that Honda will have to design a commercial open wheeled car. I've only seen race cars with wheels like that. Has any manufacturer ever come out with one?
 

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Just realized that Honda will have to design a commercial open wheeled car. I've only seen race cars with wheels like that. Has any manufacturer ever come out with one?
Street legal or not? We've never seen one from a mainstream manufacturer... Although I don't think Honda intends to sell this to you or me... this is likely Honda showing us that they plan more collab between moto and cars... car powertrains are shrinking because they've been forced to or because they're being coupled with hybrids... Honda would be stupid not to take advantage of their small engine building expertise just across town... IMO
 

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How about this for an idea... I doubt Honda will build the 2/4 for actuall retail sales... but MAYBE... they think about jamming the V4 in the back of the S660 or S1000... it would still satisfy that light weight roadster thing while still being more viable for the road... Honda may think the size is too small for american tastes but if they jam that V4 in there you watch how fast a line forms... of course I don't know if it will even fit, but who cares about facts at this point ;)
 

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Honda needs to build that, would love to see it go up against the Ariel Atom and even that open wheel Ford that Chris Harriss got behind the wheel of.
 

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Honda's motorcycle department designed that car so that's probably why it has an open-cockpit. I would want to drive one if it ever became commercial. No more sore bums from riding too long!

Of course that's not going to happen... Jamming a V4 into the S660 is more likely.
 

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Honda needs to build that, would love to see it go up against the Ariel Atom and even that open wheel Ford that Chris Harriss got behind the wheel of.
THat was just a marketing exercise for ford to show off their 1.0T 3 cyl when it debuted.
 
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