Trending February 2024 # Review: 4Snaps Is A Fun New Word Game For Ios # Suggested March 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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Product: Today we’re taking a look at a brand-new word game for iOS called 4Snaps. The premise of the game is like a cross between charades and Draw Something. You’re given a choice of three words. You have to pick one of these and then take four photos (“snaps”) to help the other player guess the word. The object is to see how many turns you can take in a row before someone misses the word.

Gameplay: The gameplay sounds easy enough, but once you start playing you’ll quickly realize that it’s far more challenging than it sounds. The early version that the we tested only contained thirteen of the over 2,100 words in the app’s dictionary, but I still had a hard time finding a way to demonstrate some of the terms I was given to choose from. Despite the fact that I frequently saw duplicate words in my selection, I never took the same photo twice.

Completing a round earns in-game coins for both players. When picking the word you want to try to photograph, you can cash in 150 of these coins for a different set of words to pick from. If you’re low on coins but really want some different words, you can buy more as an in-app purchase.

When I played my first few rounds of 4Snaps, I happened to be in a mostly-empty coffee shop with my siblings. As it turns out, the game is actually even more fun when you’ve got several people playing as a team. We sat around coming up with ideas, then taking turns posing for photos. A little later, my sister was leaving my apartment to meet some friends, but stopped dead in her tracks and came back inside to finish one more round when I told her the word was “planking.”

Issues: I did have two very small issues with the game. The first was something I overlooked for a while, and I suspect many people will not even notice: while you can search for a player by their username, or an email address from your contacts, you can’t pick a Game Center friend to play against. It’s not a huge oversight, and as I said, I don’t think most people will be put off too much by that.

The other issue I had was a bit less subtle. When I got my first notification from the app, I immediately dove into the Settings app to disable sound notifications. I was caught so off-guard by the two-second squeaking sound that I also nearly smacked smacked my phone off of the table. The sound is definitely unique, but some users (like myself) may find it a bit annoying, especially if they’re receiving a new notification every few minutes.

Despite these minor issues, the game is a lot of fun. Both can be easily remedied on the user’s end by turning off sound notifications and asking your Game Center friends for their in-app usernames.

Bottom Line: Even with the limited number of words in the pre-release dictionary, I found 4Snaps both fun and challenging. The game plays well as a one-on-one match or with a group of friends backing you up.

If you like word games, I highly recommend giving 4Snaps a look. It’s available right now on the App Store for free.

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How To Find A Word On A Web Page In Ios Browser

Have you ever been searching for something on a webpage, a specific word for example, but wondered if the word was even on the page? Suppose you didn’t have the time to scan/read the entire page to find exactly what you’re searching for. Safari/Chrome on Mac offers a simple solution by pressing “Command + F” and searching for the word you’re looking for. It’s a bit different on the iPhone or iPad though.

If you’re using an external keyboard with your iOS device, you can easily search for a specific word using “Command + F”, but if you’re using your iPhone/iPad with your finger (as most of us usually do), you can use the following method to access the search options in Safari using iOS 9:

1. Open Safari on your iOS device.

2. Navigate to a website that you’d like to do a search on.

3. Tap the Share button, which is present in the centre of the bottom of the screen (a rectangle with an arrow).

4. In the bottom row of buttons (the Action list), swipe to the left and select “Find on Page.”

5. You’ll see that a text box has appeared above your device’s keyboard. Enter the word or phrase that you’re looking for and press “Search.”

Another method for searching for words on your iOS device is to use the Navigation bar which was a feature included in the earlier versions of iOS.

2. Type what you’re looking for into the navigation bar’s URL field, and then scroll down the page. You’ll see an “On This Page” heading.

3. Tap on the word, and you’ll jump back to the web page you were just on.

Regardless of the method you used, if the word or phrase is present on the page then it will be highlighted. If it isn’t there, you’ll see a “no matches” message. If the word appears more than once, tap the up or down arrows in the search bar to jump between matches on the web page.

Let us know about any questions or suggestions in the Comments section below.

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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Overclockers Hoplite Review: Full Hd Fun

Our Verdict

The Hoplite is an extremely powerful out of the box system, requiring very little set up before it can be used thanks to the technicians over at Overclockers. It runs games at over 120fps at 1080p and will continue to do so for the next few years, but it will struggle to reach 60+fps at a 4K resolution.

Overclockers is known for putting together powerful machines so you don’t have to, making sure they’re rigorously tested and checked before they’re sent out of the factory. The Hoplite is certainly no exception and is able to run the latest titles right out of the box striking a great balance between having enough power without over-spending on any one component.

Price & Availability

You can find the Hoplite on the Overclockers website.where it was originally £1,479.95 but is now just £1,299. The specs we have here including an AMD Ryzen 7 2700x and GeForce RTX 2060 WindForce OC 6GB).

At the bottom of the page, you’ll be able to configure the build to your liking if you’d like to alter some components. The build we’re testing is the higher end of the specifications, but if you’re looking to save some extra money you can change the CPU down to the 2600X without impacting gaming performance too much.

Make sure you take a look at our best gaming PC chart to make sure you’re getting the right machine for your needs.

Design & Build

The Hoplite comes in a black Kolink Phalanx RGB Gaming Case. This case combines the best of both worlds by both looking great and being extremely practical at the same time.

The dimensions for the case are 210 x 510 x 445mm (WxHxD) making it a reasonably sized product. It’s not a massive case though and you shouldn’t have too much trouble fitting it into your setup, but the efficient design still means plenty of room within the case for larger graphics cards (up to 370mm) and taller CPU Cooler Heights (up to 160mm).

The front of the case features an open wire-mesh vent, so the three front fans are clearly on display. The side of the case features a tempered glass window with a hinge, providing easy access to the inner components.

This being a pre-built machine, it’s always nice to have that extra reassurance that it has been put together with care and expertise. Overclockers has an excellent reputation for this already, but with your new computer, you’ll find a checklist completed by a technician that shows the tests and procedures they followed when putting it together.

Every machine that comes out of the Overclockers warehouse has been thoroughly tested, and with the included three-year warranty, you can be sure you’re getting a well put together product.

The inside of the case is kept nice and tidy, with wires being tucked away and tied down to ensure the airflow through the case is kept as free as possible. Both hard drives are kept concealed behind a plate to help the overall aesthetic and the cooling architecture too.

The inside of the case is dominated by the two largest components, the graphics card and the CPU cooler.

The Asetek closed-loop liquid cooler is responsible for keeping the CPU nice and cool, with the dual 240mm fans attached to the radiator block at the top of the case. The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 WindForce sits over the PCI-E bays comfortably, dominating the middle of the board.

When the machine is booted up the array of RGB lights make it a sight to behold, bright and cohesive enough to satisfy even the most demanding lovers of aesthetic PC design.

Specs & Performance

The Hoplite we tested features the AMD Ryzen 2700X, supported by the Gigabyte RTX 2060 WindForce OC and 16GB of the Night Hawk DDR4 memory at 3200Mhz.

The AMD Ryzen 2700x is the flagship of the second-generation Ryzen chips and shows a marked improvement year-on-year, swiftly gaining ground on Intel’s Core-i7 series. Traditionally, Intel has always been the king when it comes to single thread performance while AMD processors fare better at tasks that make use of multiple cores. 

The majority of games will perform better on fewer, more powerful cores rather than many, less powerful ones. This will generally place Intel’s equivalent i7 processor above the 2700x for game performance, but it won’t be by a lot.

When it comes to tasks that can make use of several cores, such as video editing, the increased core count of the AMD processors will start to shine through and surpass Intel’s offering.

Having said all that, the 2700x will still boost up to 4.35Ghz on a single core, so it’s certainly no slouch in single core performance either – just not quite as fast as Intel.

The Gigabyte RTX 2060 WindForce is a very solid graphics unit, but it holds a bit of a strange position within the RTX line.

As the most wallet-friendly offering in Nvidia’s RTX series, it appears to be a good option for those of us that want ray tracing visuals on the cheap. However, when we put it through 3DMark’s Port Royal benchmark designed specifically to test ray tracing, we only got a score of 3909 with an average FPS of 19.

On the upside, the card will perform more than well enough at a 1080p resolution if you’re running the latest games at medium graphics level, even at ultra settings, you’ll still see above 60fps. We found the system averaged 147 FPS in Total War: Warhammer 2 on medium settings and then an average of 87 on Ultra graphics.

Bumping up to 4K will means it will struggle with some of the more strenuous titles available, and while you can get an acceptable frame rate you’re going to struggle to get above 60fps consistently. For just an extra £100, you could upgrade to the PC Specialist Vulcan S2 which has an RTX 2070.

This will also mean that in the next few years as graphics quality improves, this card will start to struggle on the larger resolutions – so if you’re looking to move into 4K in the future we’d recommend a more powerful card.

This build is all held together by the Gigabyte B450 AORUS ELITE motherboard which provides a solid foundation for the machine, with a wide array of features and a respectable amount of PCI-E slots. It also includes 4x USB 3.1 and 4x USB 2.0 ports along with support for up to four sticks of RAM.

The closed-loop Asetek 240mm AIO CPU cooler helps keep the processor cool and does so excellently with the help of the Noiseblocker BlackSilent Pro PLPS 12mm system fans.

Storage is provided by the Gigabyte 240GB 2.5 In SSD and backed up by the Seagate 2TB 7200RPM HDD.

Benchmarks

These benchmarks were collected with the spec listed above which can be found here on the Overclockers website:

The Geekbench 4  benchmarks show the difference in single core performance between the AMD and Intel CPUs.

The Yoyotech Warbird features a Core i5-6600k and the Chillbeast Fusion Juggernaut holds an 8600k. Sadly the later model i5 doesn’t include hyper-threading which means it’s going to fall behind when it comes to multithreaded applications.

The PCMark tests across all machines are generally outstanding, although the Hoplite falls behind once again due to the majority of everyday programs only using one or two cores.

Sky Diver shows the Hoplite putting up an excellent score against the other two machines, particularly because the Warbird and Chillbeast run an RTX 2070 and 2080 respectively. This shows that at a 1080p resolution, the extra performance you’re getting from the higher end RTX cards isn’t worth the money. However, if you’re looking to game in 4k or at 200+ FPS with some specialised screens, the more powerful cards will start to make sense.

Verdict

The Hoplite from Overclockers is a powerful machine at a reasonable price. Spending under £1,500 for a computer this powerful, that is ready to go out of the box, is a solid investment for those of us that don’t want to get our hands dirty building a PC ourselves.

However, this machine does miss the mark a little when it comes to more strenuous 4K gaming. If you’re looking to purchase a rig specifically for gaming, a 7th or 8th generation Intel i5 is still the best choice, coupled with a graphics card that suits your needs.

If you want to game consistently at 4K we’d recommend an RTX 2080 at least. If you’re planning to remain at 1080 then the RTX 2060 will serve you well for the next few years.

Specs Overclockers Hoplite: Specs

Case: Kolink Phalanx RGB Gaming Case – Black

Power Supply: 850W 80Plus Platinum Rated PSU

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7GHz (4.3GHz Boost) Eight Core/Sixteen Thread Processor

Motherboard: Gigabyte B450 DDR4 Motherboard

Cooler: Asetek 240mm AIO liquid CPU Cooler

Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 3200MHz Dual Channel RGB Kit

Primary Solid State Drive: Gigabyte 240GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive

Storage Hard Drive: Seagate 2TB 7200RPM Hard Drive

Graphics: Gigbyte GeForce RTX 2060 6144MB Graphics Card

Audio: 7.1 High Definition Audio

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home Advanced 64 Bit

Msi Immerse Gv60 Microphone Review: Game On For Audio Recording

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When an electronics company known for one thing makes a lateral move into a new device type, it can be cause for celebration or scrutiny. MSI famously makes gaming computers, hardware, and peripherals. However, USB microphones are now also eSports accessories and there may be as many USB mic models for sale as there are PS5 games. So, the introduction of MSI’s Immerse GV60 streaming microphone isn’t that dubious of a debut. The fact remains, however, that it’s hard for USB mics to stand out in such a crowded field. That’s why the MSI Immerse GV60 stakes its claim on comprehensive features and good audio results for a competitive price.

At $129 MSRP (typically less in the cart), the MSI Immerse GV60 costs close to or below many of our favorites, such as the Blue Microphones Yeti X or the Elgato Wave:3. Yet, for that price, it delivers just about everything you may need from a USB mic: high-resolution audio, mounting options, no-latency headphone monitoring, four pickup (polar) patterns, and convenient front-panel controls. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the GV60 a USB mic that works for any purpose—not just gaming, but also podcasting, meetings, video creation, music recording … whatever you need.

The MSI Immerse GV60’s design

While I would not call it a copycat of the Blue Microphones Yeti and Yeti X USB mics, the MSI Immerse GV60 does take on a similar look, feel, and height to the two flagship Yetis. Like them, the GV60 is a plug-and-play USB condenser microphone with a solid metal (matte-finished aluminum) chassis and robust metal stand with a padded bottom to protect tabletop finishes. Size-wise, it’s just a bit smaller than the Yeti, while the weights are similar. Measured on a digital scale, the GV60 mic alone weighs 1.3 pounds compared to the Yeti’s 1.05 pounds, while the GV60 in its included stand weighs 2.4 pounds, while the Yeti in its stand weighs 2.9 pounds.

When mounted on the desktop stand, the GV60 swivels within the brackets for you to find the right angle, and it unscrews from the brackets so that you can mount it to a standard microphone boom arm from the 5/8-inch threaded hole on the underside of the mic. Also on the underside are the USB-C port for connecting the included 3-meter USB-C to USB-A cable to a computer or mobile device, plus a 3.5mm headphone output.

It only took about a minute to unscrew the Immerse GV60 from its stand and screw it securely onto a no-frills On-Stage MBS5000 mic boom arm, but the MSI stand’s screws have some loose washers that you must be careful not to spill onto the floor. A foam pop filter comes in the box and fits over the mic head.

Getting started with the MSI Immerse GV60

The Immerse GV60 requires no drivers or any other software to work as a plug-and-play USB mic with macOS and Windows 10 and higher machines. MSI’s website does not list mobile devices as compatible; however, I used the GV60 with both a 2023 iPad Pro iOS tablet and a Motorola Stylus G Android phone with no problems. In both cases, I plugged the mic straight into the mobile devices with a USB-C cable and the devices recognized the mic as both the audio output and audio input for recording from various apps. Whether used with a computer or mobile device, the mic draws USB power, so keep that in mind when considering battery levels.

The MSI Immerse GV60’s key features

While I mentioned a similar feel to the Immerse GV60 compared to the Blue Yeti and Yeti X, the MSI mic differs in a couple of key aspects. For one, all of its controls are on the front of the mic, where they are easy to see and reach. Also, the GV60’s 24-bit/96 kHz maximum audio resolution exceeds that of the Yeti (16-bit/48 kHz) and the Yeti X (24-bit/48 kHz). While 16-bit/48 kHz audio resolution is still typically enough for the most common use cases of a USB mic—such as podcasting, YouTube and other online videos, video conferencing, gaming, and so on—it can’t hurt to have the extra high-res capability of the GV60, whether it’s for producing music or future-proofing for emerging formats—especially when the GV60’s typical sell price is lower than both the Yeti and Yeti X.

The GV60 also has the crucial feature that almost every USB mic shares: no-latency monitoring through its headphone output. With this, you’ll be able to listen to the microphone input (i.e., your voice, or whatever is being recorded) through the mic’s headphone output in real-time, with no delay. Whether you’re recording yourself, livestreaming, or just on a Zoom meeting, the no-latency monitoring is very helpful.

And with the front-panel controls, you can conveniently adjust the level of the mic input up or down, control the volume of the headphone output, or hit the mic mute button, which instantly shuts off the mic input and turn the front-panel mic LED from blue (mic on) to red (mic off).

Markkus Rovito

Four recording pickup patterns

The remaining front-panel control selects one of the Immerse GV60’s four available pickup patterns, which determine the areas around the mic capsule that diaphragms focus on while recording. MSI lists the four pickup patterns as Stereo, Omnidirectional, Unidirectional (aka cardioid), and Bidirectional (aka Figure 8).

The Unidirectional/cardioid pattern zeroes in on the front, trails off at the sides, and de-emphasizes the back—commonly used for single-person talking or singing. Omnidirectional takes in sound equally from 360 degrees around the mic and is good for capturing the entire ambiance of a space and every member of a roundtable discussion. The Stereo pattern uses the left and right channels to create a wide audio image and is well-suited to recording instruments or multiple sound sources in front of the mic. Finally, the Bidirectional pattern emphasizes both the front and back of the mic, so it’s ideal for capturing two people sitting across from each other in a conversational crossfire hurricane.

The MSI Immerse GV60’s sound

With its strong lineup of gaming computers, monitors, processors, and peripherals, MSI seems to have introduced a microphone into its product oeuvre as a gaming accessory, but the Immerse GV60 is appropriate for any type of content creator. I tested it primarily for recording sung and spoken vocals, video conferencing, and recording interviews, but also recorded drums and amplified synthesizers. I also compared the results against the aforementioned Yeti, Yeti X, Ara, and Wave:3 microphones, as well as the HyperX QuadCast S USB mic.

After testing so many USB microphones with similar features and in the same price range, it becomes clear that there isn’t a wide gap separating them in terms of the audio quality that they capture, though there are more subtle leaps in clarity. Similar to the other mics mentioned, the GV60 deftly captures minute details and has a very sensitive input, so it offered a small but noticeable rise in clarity compared to some of its competitors I had on hand. The recording levels can get very hot very fast if you turn up the input too high, however. To avoid treble spikes—and picking up the details you don’t want, like the clacking of your keyboard—it’s very helpful to have that pop filter handy and the GV60’s input volume knob on the front (though you may even find yourself playing with software noise suppressors). Other mics that don’t have that input control but still have very sensitive input levels, like the AKG Ara, can make it more challenging to make sure you’re not overdoing the input levels.

Also like most USB mics, the GV60 records sources very transparently. It’s a much higher-quality microphone than the built-in mic of a computer or mobile device, but if you’re a musician or content creator who wants a flattering, honeyed, velvety sound out of a microphone, this or any other USB mic is probably not what you want. While higher-priced condenser microphones use expensive tubes and/or transformers to color sounds with positive distortion that’s described as a “warming” or softening effect, USB microphones like the GV60 pack a lot of functionality—like a built-in audio interface that allows real-time monitoring—into a small chassis for a low price, so what you hear is what you get. You’re not buying a signature sound. But, when recording drums in a rehearsal space, I appreciated that detailing. On the other hand, when trying to sing while half-sick and not really hiding that condition, I would have preferred less of a harshly transparent microphone.

The GV60’s 24-bit/96 kHz maximum audio resolution is in the sweet spot with many newer USB mics, while some older models top out at a slightly lower level, and a few go up to 192 kHz (the AKG Lyra, a podcast favorite, for example). There’s not much audible difference between say 24-bit/48 kHz and 24-bit/96 kHz audio other than a slightly brighter presence in the high-end frequency range. And there’s no reason to dock the GV60 for not extending to 192 kHz, which is not really necessary for anything you’re likely to do with a USB mic.

Markkus Rovito

So, who should buy the MSI Immerse GV60?

When there are so many USB microphones available and there’s such parity between many of them in terms of audio quality, the reasons to choose one model over another can come down to very minute details and/or personal preferences such as aesthetic appearance. The aesthetic viewpoints are obviously subjective. I personally find the Immerse GV60 visual design to be a little generic and less striking than many other options in the field. However, given that its audio results compare very evenly to some of the best USB mics, like the Yeti X and the Wave:3, yet it’s priced lower than both, the GV60 offers value. If you add in that its audio resolution is as high as you’ll need and its generous front panel controls and four pickup patterns are quite handy, this is a well-rounded USB microphone. If you’re a gamer that may also record or a podcaster that also games, the MSI Immerse GV60 is a solid streaming microphone for improving audio quality at an attractive price.

Review: Amara Is A Web

Producing video subtitles is a laborious process. First you must transcribe the original video, writing down everything that’s said, proofread and correct then, synchronize the subtitles with the audio so they appear on-screen right when the lines are being delivered. Finally, you translate the text into other languages. Amara is a platform that tries to crowd-source all of this work, making it possible for you to set up a system where droves of volunteers help you produce video subtitles for free, without having to download or install anything. It’s not entirely successful, but it’s an interesting first step in the right direction.

Before you can translate a video, you must first transcribe it. You can select any video for transcription – you don’t have to own the content: it just has to be available online. Simply provide Amara with a video’s URL on YouTube, Vimeo, or another online video service, and it launches into the transcription interface. You don’t have to open an account before you begin–you can just start working.

The first step in the transcription process is just writing down what the people in the video say without worrying too much about typos and capitalization. Amara’s transcription interface is simple and intuitive. By default, it plays four seconds of video, then automatically pauses. You then type what you’ve just heard, and hit Tab to play four more seconds. If you miss anything, you can hit Shift-Tab to rewind four seconds and listen again. If you don’t like to constantly hit Tab and Shift-Tab, Amara can also auto-pause the video for you. In this mode, you simply listen to the video and type as you listen, with Amara pausing it automatically to let you catch up. The way this works isn’t clearly explained (Amara calls it “magical”), but it works remarkably well: The video paused and played right when I needed it to, and I had to hit Shift-Tab to rewind only rarely. Even with the excellent auto-pausing engine, transcription is still a laborious process, though. I touch-type quickly, but transcribing a four-minute video took me about twenty minutes of intense concentration.

The “magical autopause” mode pauses the video cleverly to let you catch up on your typing, and works very well for touch-typists.

The directions also say you don’t have to worry if you get the timing slightly wrong, as you’ll be able to correct it later. Accordingly, I didn’t worry much – but when I got to the final step, reviewing and correcting the subtitles, I discovered things aren’t so simple to correct. I wasn’t always able to extend or contract the subtitles along the timelines so they synced correctly, and the whole process quickly got out of hand. The end result I got reflects Amara’s strengths and weaknesses: The video was fully transcribed, but the synchronization was only so-so. Another issue was that some of the subtitles were too long: Amara doesn’t offer an easy way to shift text from the end of one subtitle to the beginning of the next (except for manually copy-pasting), so if you happen to break things down into too large chunks when transcribing, you’ll have a problem later on.

Once a source-language transcription is ready, Amara lets you (or others) translate it into your language of choice while watching the video for reference.

Once you’ve got a timed transcription of a video, you can now translate it into different languages. Translation is simpler than transcription: Just type the translated text under each subtitle. Of course, how good the end product is depends both on the transcription’s quality and on the translator, but the interface itself is easy to use. Also, to enjoy the subtitles, viewers would usually have to use Amara’s player.

Amara is an interesting product, but after using it, I remain unconvinced that video subtitles can truly be crowd-sourced, if “crowd-sourcing” implies casual, untrained work. Producing a high-quality subtitled translation is a complex process, with each step requiring its own expertise. Still, if you want to dabble with subtitling or translation, or if you have a video and volunteer or professional translators dedicated to putting out a professional-quality result, Amara is a powerful platform worth experimenting with.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can use the latest version of this Web-based software.

Driving This Electric Honda Was More Fun Than The New Nsx

Driving this electric Honda was more fun than the new NSX

You know something is up when a Honda engineer giggles while he’s talking to you about his car. Turns out, the Honda “4-Motor Electric SH-AWD with Precision All-Wheel Steer” prototype – a clunky name for a heavily modified CR-Z – is enough to cut through the usual restrained enthusiasm of Honda Japan’s handling experts, and turn them into squeaking fanboys. Then I drove it myself, and instantly understood why.

Step back to late 2012. A team of Honda engineers and students decided to explore the possibilities of next-generation torque vectoring, building on Honda and Acura’s existing expertise in all-wheel drive, and come up with an EV sports car.

Since it’s always more fun to make something with a practical application than just a concept, the team settled on the infamous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Held every year in Colorado, USA, its 12.42 mile course isn’t especially long, but it climbs dramatically, rising 4,720 feet with grades that average 7.2-percent.

That takes a special kind of car to succeed in, but the Honda team thought they had the answer.

Out went the CR-Z’s usual 1.5L hybrid gas engine, and in came four electric motors, one for each wheel. Since each motor can be independently controlled, the torque going to each wheel – and in either direction – can be adjusted individually.

If one wheel is lacking in grip, the car can throw more power to the others. On tighter turns, meanwhile, the outside wheel can get maximum torque while its counterpart on the inside gets opposite torque, helping pivot the car around.

The skunkworks group didn’t stop there, however. The prototype also got all-wheel steering, with the rear wheels having two degrees of steering for tighter cornering.

Hopes were high for the Pikes Peak challenge in June earlier this year, but even the Honda engineers were surprised at the result. With Super GT driver Tetsuya Yamano at the wheel, the electric prototype CR-Z took top place in its Exhibition class, completing all 156 turns in 10:23.829.

In fact, it finished in eleventh place across all classes, despite having a fraction of the horsepower those in the top ten could boast.

While Honda had brought out the International Hill Climb car for me to gawp at, it would only trust me with a lap behind the wheel of the 2014 prototype – with only around half its power, too – when I caught up with the engineers responsible at the Honda R&D Center in Tochigi.

Inside, the CR-Z’s usual cabin has been heavily modified for the new electric powertrain, with closely-hugging bucket seats and an oddly nipple-like toggle switch to choose between Drive and Reverse.

“Floor it,” the engineer in the passenger’s seat told me, grinning broadly. Always the accommodating guest, I obeyed, and the little EV surged away as the four motors dug in.

Instant torque is a well-known trick electric cars use to wow you off the starting line. The real magic comes when you hit the first corner.

Honda’s course was hardly complicated, though the safety talk had been clear to label the first corner as suitable for “moderate” speed. “Go faster,” my co-pilot insisted, and I obliged, expecting understeer to appear.

It didn’t.

As hoary old driving clichés go, I’ve always thought “it corners like it’s on rails” is one of the lamest. So, you’ll have to believe me when I say how astonished I was to find the Electric SH-AWD prototype does exactly that.

Turn the wheel and it goes in the direction you were aiming for. Turn the wheel and stomp on the accelerator some more and, rather than going whooshing off the edge of the track, the CR-Z just pivots. We’re talking prodigious, cackle-inducing levels of grip.

I’ve driven cars with incredible traction before, but even so the prototype can be a little disconcerting when the rear steering kicks in and the back end twists around. Not to the point where I lifted my right foot, mind – in fact I’m mentally kicking myself now for not pushing it even harder, but some mental preservation is ganglial and takes time to overcome – but enough to make it unlike just about anything else I’ve tried.

All too soon the course was over and, despite my promises of an exciting new life in America just as long as he didn’t kick up a fuss when I drove the prototype straight out of the R&D center and to the nearest cargo ship facing the right way across the Pacific, my new engineering friend refused to turn a blind eye to my sudden kleptomaniac inclinations.

When, I demanded of Honda as soon as I was dragged from the cosy grip of the Alcantara, can I buy one myself? The answer is no less disappointing for how predictable it is: right now the company is still studying it, and there are no plans for production.

And yet, there’s a faint glimmer of hope. Every engineer who has tried the prototype, one Honda employee confided in me, has walked away loudly praising its mechanical marvelousness.

That’s critical, since Honda puts a whole lot of importance on what its engineers think. “I am an engineer,” Takahiro Hachigo, President, CEO, and Representative Director of Honda, told us later as he opened a rare Q&A session at the facility. “I myself love to drive cars.”

“That was a demonstration of what we believe when we say “bringing fun to our cars”,” Hachigo explained when asked about potential production for the prototype. “In that case, it’s not that we have plans to commercialize what you saw today … it’s not in a stage whatsoever for us to develop and produce a car like that.”

NOW READ: 2023 Acura NSX First Drive

I hear that, and then I look at the 2023 Acura NSX I also drove this week – the three-motor system with front wheel torque-vectoring of which is a clear early version of the four motors in the CR-Z prototype – and think about how it took Honda just two years to change its supercar plans and cook up the hybrid drivetrain.

Even more intriguing, while the new NSX is set to cost more than $150k when it goes on sale next year, a four-motor system might be a lot more affordable. Four moderately powered motors could be much cheaper than one large one, not to mention simplify the parts bin because all would be identical, and have applications not only in sporting models but off-roaders and sure-footed luxury sedans.

If that’s not something which you can imagine easily appealing to common-sense Honda as it mulls production, I’m not sure what is.

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