Tarragona, Spain - Just when you thought it was safe to walk on the grass again, Honda's 83kW Mean Mower has raised the World Land Speed Record for lawnmowers by almost 50km/h, from 140.53 to 186.51km/h.
The speed was measured through a 100-metre speed trap on the 2000-metre North Straight at the IDIADA Proving Ground, in Tarragona, 130km south of Barcelona, on Saturday 8 March, overseen by official timers Timing Solutions Limited, with Piers Ward of Top Gear Magazine, who set the previous mark on an earlier version of the same mower in May 2010, in the saddle.
To satisfy Guinness Book of World Records regulations the mower had to complete two runs in opposite directions within an hour, with the official result being the average of the two recorded speeds.
But, in order to qualify for the record, it also had to look like a lawnmower - and cut grass, which it did very successfully thanks to a two electric motors on the cutter deck spinning 3mm steel cutting cable at 4000rpm. The Mean Mower cuts grass at about 24km/h, more than twice as fast as the Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor it's based on.
Don't let it get anywhere near your ankles…
It was designed and built by Team Dynamics, which is also responsible for building and preparing Honda's 'works' British Touring Car entries.
The team re-engineered the HF2620 from the ground up around an all-new frame fabricated from 4130 high tensile-strength chrome-molybdenum alloy steel tubing, a modified 1000cc V-twin Honda Firestorm engine, bespoke suspension and quad wheels.
Quad races are always run on rough off-road tracks so the soft, grippy quad tyres were ideal for high-speed running.
As many Honda parts as possible were used, including the brakes and several motorcycle components, while everything else was specially made by Team Dynamics and its partners.
Every effort was made to retain as much of the look of the original mower as possible.
The cutter deck was custom-made in fibreglass to reduce weight, while the grass-box contains the fuel tank, a high-capacity oil cooler and a second radiator.
On the advice of works Honda drivers Matt Neal (three times British Touring Car champion) and 2012 title-holder Gordon Shedden, the mower has a custom-made, paddle shift six-speed gear box, a sports seat specially made by Cobra, a Scorpion exhaust system and a steering rack from a Morris Minor.
The result is a 140kg lawnmower with 96Nm of torque on tap, geared for a top speed of more than 210km/h and a 0-100km/h take-off of about four seconds flat.