Honda (UK)’s fire spitting ‘Mean Mower’ has scooped a very special accolade in the 2013 BBC Top Gear Magazine Awards, winning the newly-created Thing Of The Year (TOTY) title.
In this month’s magazine, Piers Ward of BBC Top Gear praises the “brave men and women of Honda” for creating the 1000cc beast, going on to explain that because Honda stepped up to the challenge and the resulting “life-affirming event” of driving it makes it worthy of a BBC Top Gear Magazine award. With it not being a car, they had to invent an entirely new category for Mean Mower, hence the new TOTY category.
Here is TOTY.
The accolade follows a very busy six months for Honda’s Mean Mower, which first graced the pages of BBC Top Gear in its ‘Performance Car of the Year’ issue in July, on the back of its first appearance on track at Clemont Ferrand in central France. Further features have seen Honda Yuasa’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) driver Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden compete on the mower against team-mate Matt Neal in the BTCC Civic race car, as well as pitting the mower against a super-fast executive saloon with a Honda push lawnmower in the boot.
Most recently Mean Mower appeared at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the world’s premier automotive speciality products trade event showcasing more than 2,000 new products and vehicles from across the globe. Displayed alongside Honda’s latest Civic coupe it was admired by more than 60,000 international trade visitors.
The 109 hp Mean Mower was commissioned by Honda (UK) and built by its BTCC partner, Team Dynamics. As well as a blistering top speed of 210 km/h, it is geared to cover the 0-60 sprint in a mere four seconds. It weighs just 140 kg, producing 96 Nm of torque and boasts an incredible power-to-weight ratio of 532 bhp/tonne.
The project saw Team Dynamics re-engineer a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor from the ground-up, adding a custom-made fabricated chassis, a 1000 cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm motorcycle, a bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV. It features a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system, a bespoke sports seat and a Scorpion exhaust system.
Every effort has been made to retain as much of the look of the original mower as possible. The cutter deck was custom-made in fiber-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. Mean Mower can also still cut grass, at up to 15mph, thanks to two electric motors on the cutter deck, spinning 3 mm steel cutting cable at an incredible 4000 rpm.
Piers Ward of BBC Top Gear Magazine enthuses: ‘On any logical level, the Mean Mower makes no sense – no one really needs a 210 km/h lawnmower that can do 0-60mph in four seconds. But sometimes, we just need our grass cutting faster…”