Honda have built a batbike. At least that’s the easiest way of describing the NM4 Vultus, which sounds like the name of an ice planet several thousand lightyears away, combined with a regional road network in Britain.
In its recent announcement, Honda maintain that the team of youthful designers behind the Vultus (meaning ‘appearance’ in Latin) drew inspiration from the futuristic machines on display in Japanese anime and manga. It’s not the first vehicle to do so – apparently the latest iteration of the Toyota Aygo has its origins in cartoon superhero, Astroboy. Having never actually seen any of these Japanese products, we can’t say for sure – all we know is that with its matte black surface and stealth bomber echoes, the only cartoon the Vultus could relate to involves one caped crusader.
Despite its somewhat dubious name, the rest of the Vultus is quite interesting. It features low-friction technology, for example, and a 745cc twin-cylinder engine which has been pushed forward, allowing more space and generating a lower centre of gravity. It also has both automatic and manual modes – the manual in particular sounds rather cool, considering it’ll be trigger-operated, for that fighter-pilot effect. You just know that feature will sell to a load of over-sized kids.
Honda have also announced that the Vultus will only come in one colour – matte black. And that’s fair enough. Let’s face it – Batman’s hardly going to want it in lime green.