Honda Sets New Speed Record at Bonneville Salt Flats
What is the fastest Honda car ever?
As the world’s leading manufacturer of engines, it can be expected that Honda has produced some very fast cars. Honda racecars have won dozens of motorsports championships throughout the world, dominating competition at legendary venues from Indianapolis to Monaco, and on surfaces ranging from the sands of Dakar to the dirt of Carlsbad. With such a prestigious racing history, you may be wondering, “What is the fastest Honda car ever?” Continue reading to find out the answer.
Honda S-Dream Streamliner – Fastest Honda Car Ever
The fastest Honda car ever is the Honda S-Dream Streamliner. The speed record was recently set at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It posted a new FIA World Record of 261.875 mph (1 mile) and 261.966 mph (1 km) for a vehicle in its class (Category-A Group-1 Class-4). With the historical runs this past week, the Honda S-Dream passed the previous Honda record established by the BAR Honda F1 car at Bonneville in 2006.
Honda S-Dream and S660 Engine Modifications
Honda’s engineers created the S-Dream Streamliner by using a 660cc engine based on the three-cylinder powerplant designed for the Honda S660 sports car. The team carefully re-investigated every part of the S660 engine and renewed many of them including cylinder block, pistons, crankshaft and valves in hopes of coaxing more than three times the power for which it was designed. Additions such as the replacement of the lower block with a steel unit and reinforced connecting rods gave the unit the rigidity it would need to withstand the record run, and the car completed several test runs in Japan before heading to the U.S.
Challenges for the Honda S-Dream at Bonneville
During testing at Bonneville, the S-Dream faced some challenges. Test driver Hikaru Miyagi returned after his run and told the team that he could not see properly through the narrow canopy. The vision had not been a problem on the test track due to the abundance of landmarks and road marking, but on the bleach-white expanse of the salt flats, the former Japan motorcycle champion was having trouble keeping the car pointed in the right direction. As a result, the team took the car back to Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, California, where they restyled the canopy and most parts of the upper body just 10 days before the first day of Bonneville Speed Weeks.
Record Time for Honda S-Dream at Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout
During the Bonneville Speed Weeks, the Honda S-Dream made several strong runs at Bonneville, but was unable to reach the record speed that it sought. But soon after the conclusion of Speed Weeks, Honda was officially invited to Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout to take another run at the record. The team broke the FIA record mark with a run of 227.776 mph on the first day of the shootout, then went quicker on subsequent runs until officially topping out at 261.875 mph (1 mile) and 261.966 mph (1 km), making the S-Dream Streamliner the fastest Honda car ever.