Honda has revealed the first image of 2015 Formula 1 power unit that the McLaren F1 team will use to compete in the world championship.
The return of the company to F1 with McLaren had been announced last year.
The Japanese company plans to give a sneak peek of the power unit revving at its stand during this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix from October 2 to 5. The sound of the revving engine will be shared with the public via social media starting from October 6.
Honda has moved its automobile motorsports development program to its R&D facility in Sakura, Japan where the power unit is still under development and has even made its new racing operations base in Milton Keynes, UK operational.
In a statement, the company revealed that development of the power unit has, "moved onto the next stage where we conduct full-fledged bench tests of the engine while connecting the turbocharger and energy recovery systems."
HONDA'S PREVIOUS F1 INVOLVEMENT
The 2015 F1 season will mark the first time since the 1992 season that Honda will power a McLaren F1 car. The association between McLaren and Honda is one of the most famous engine constructor-engine supplier relationships in F1; along with the likes of Williams-Renault, Lotus-Ford and McLaren-Mercedes.
The McLaren-Honda team won four consecutive drivers' and constructors' world championships from 1988 to 1991; the first two of which featured the classic driver line-up of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
In total, Honda won six constructors' titles and five drivers titles as an engine supplier that included one drivers' and two constructors' crowns with Williams in the 1986 and 1987 seasons.
After Honda's departure from F1 at the end of the 1992 season, Japan's Mugen Motorsports ran a customer engine program for various teams, most famously with Jordan F1; a relationship that resulted in three wins through the 1998 and 1999 seasons with Heinz-Harald Frentzen being a championship contender in 1999 and finishing third in the drivers' world championship.
Honda returned to F1 as an official engine supplier in 2000 with the British American Racing team before taking a controlling share in the team and becoming a full constructor in 2006 (when Jenson Button won the Hungarian Grand Prix) for the first time since the 1968 F1 season.
Two extremely uncompetitive seasons in 2007 and 2008 followed before the global economic crisis forced Honda to end its involvement in F1 entirely as team principal Ross Brawn took control of the team. The renamed Brawn GP team switched to Mercedes engines and shocked the F1 fraternity by winning both the drivers' and constructors' titles in 2009 before being taken over entirely by Mercedes-Benz and become the German manufacturer's official factory team.
Honda had first entered F1 as a full constructor in the 1964 season; just four years after the company produced its very first road car.