Honda’s in-house performance arm Mugen announced their European division is developing a ‘highly-tuned’ version of Honda CR-Z Hybrid. Think of it as the CR-Z Type-R.
That’s what Mugen Euro promises. They say the car will deliver “Type R-like” performance from the hybrid’s petrol-electric powertrain – and may offer even better fuel economy! Now that’s a big leap because as we know the car’s standard engine makes a miserable 120 hp. So what are they going to do with it?
Well, they can only reveal that they will upgrade both the 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and the Honda IMA system to boost power and torque without confirming any figures yet as it’s still under development. The are optimistic that the changes, specially those made to exhaust and induction, will result in greater mpg and lower CO2 emissions. But who cares about that. All we want from the CR-Z is big power!
The car will also be fitted with bespoke brakes and suspension to cope with the enhanced performance.
As you see in the official sketches, the car also gets a visual treatment with lightweight components, including a carbon fibre bonnet, front and rear bumpers, and a spoiler. The CR-Z is a good looking car and these changes can only make it better.
The concept car will make its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. What’s slightly worrying is that Honda says the CR-Z MUGEN is being developed purely as a one-off prototype, with no plans for a production version. Come on Honda, this is an obvious winner. Don’t be a coward and make it!
“We wanted to extend the performance of the CR-Z,” says Hiro Toyoda of MUGEN Euro. “It is already a fun car to drive, with an excellent chassis, but we thought that with more power and enhanced torque delivery it could be even more exciting. However, as with all MUGEN projects, we have stayed true to the Honda design and philosophy, and the electric motor is still a vital ingredient to boost performance and economy.”
The CR-Z MUGEN is a joint project between Honda (UK) and MUGEN Euro – the Northampton-based subsidiary of Honda’s long standing tuning partner MUGEN. In 2009, MUGEN Euro produced the Civic Type R MUGEN, an extreme, 240PS version of Honda popular hot hatch.
“This will be one quick hybrid,” says Martin Moll, Head of Marketing for Honda (UK). “With more torque, more power and MUGEN’s experience of working with Honda cars, we’re expecting great things. It promises to show how hybrid cars can be even more exciting to drive.”