Honda float to set Rose Parade record with nod to Acura NSX

A rendering of Honda's 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade float. At 274 feet in length, it is nearly as long as the field at the Rose Bowl.

Photo credit: HONDA
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Soichiro Honda's company built its reputation on the backs of reliable, efficient, rather diminutive things.

The Super Cub/Passport motorcycle. The wee 600s and the slightly larger original Civic.

Now firmly ensconced in the nation's industrial and consumer fabric, Honda Motor Co. is intending to break a size record in that most American of pageants, the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The company's been the cavalcade of floral floats' marquee sponsor since 2011, but felt this year's fête was the appropriate time to rewrite the entry in the parade's longest-float ledger.

Honda already holds the record with a 207-foot behemoth featured in the 2005 Rose Parade.

For their 38th year as an entrant in the event, they're upping the float-length ante to 274 feet, making the float nearly as long as the field at the Rose Bowl.

The float features five "train" cars and measures 30 feet tall at its highest point, 18 feet wide at the widest, and weighs in at 50 tons. 

The float's prime mover is designed to evoke the upcoming Acura NSX -- with Asimo, a humanoid robot, serving as the mini-train's engineer.

The middle three platforms will show off a Honda engine, a gargantuan robot arm, and a pair of 30-foot LED screens reflecting images of parade spectators. The caboose features HondaJet cues.

The float will be propelled by a specially configured Honda hybrid low-emission engine.

The parade is Wednesday, Jan. 1.

How many flowers will it take to cover the massive display? Honda's "approximate" estimate is a rather precise 8,980.

Which seems like a pretty substantial figure until you realize that around 18 million blooms are used in the parade each year.

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