The mower was put through its paces at the IDIADA Proving Ground, in Tarragona, Spain. It was driven by was Piers Ward of the BBC's Top Gear Magazine. Ward was required to perform two runs within an hour along a 100 m (328 ft) speed trap in both directions, with an average speed taken across both runs.
Ward set an average speed of 187.60 kph (116.57 mph), shy of the mower's cited top speed of 209 kph (130 mph) that was reported by Gizmag last year. His speed broke the previous record of 140 kph (87 mph), which Ward had also set using the Mean Mower. In addition to achieving a fastest average speed, a mower vying for the title has to be able to cut grass and, crucially, must also look like a lawnmower. Both of these criteria were also deemed to have been met.
The Mean Mower is based on a Honda HF2620 Lawn Tractor and was designed and built in the UK by Honda's British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) partner, Team Dynamics. A new 4130 chromoly (high carbon steel) chassis was added to provide a strong, but light, platform and the machine was powered by a 1,000-cc engine from a Honda VTR Firestorm. Bespoke suspension and wheels from an ATV were used in order to provide grip and keep the mower stable.
In order to keep weight to a minimum, the cutter deck was custom-made from fiberglass and the grass bag was used to contain the fuel tank, a high capacity oil cooler and a secondary water cooling radiator. It featured a custom-made Cobra sports seat, a Scorpion exhaust system and a steering rack taken from a Morris Minor, as well as a custom-made paddle shift six-speed gear system that was apparently included on the advice of British Touring Car champions Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.
"The original brief for Mean Mower was to create the world’s fastest lawnmower – and now it officially is, by some distance!" says Kate Saxton, Honda Motor Europe's manager for European PR communications. "We are all delighted to hold a Guinness World Records title and we’d like to thank everyone who was involved in what has been a challenging yet incredibly exciting project."
The video below shows the Mean Mower in action.