Honda's tuning specialist, Mugen, in Europe has announced it and Honda UK are working on a sporty Honda CR-Z Mugen version that promises to offer "Type-R-like" performance. The new car is set to debut at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
Even though the Honda CR-Z is generally marketed as a 'sport hybrid coupe', it doesn't really offer sporty performance figures. It does come with a six-speed manual transmission and a sleek body profile but acceleration from 0-100km/h takes around nine seconds, far from thrilling.
Mugen Euro says revisions will be made to the standard 1.5-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder engine and the Honda Integrated Motor Assist electric motor, a combination currently offering 91kW of power and 174Nm of torque. Although specific power targets haven't been finalised yet, Honda UK Head of Marketing, Martin Moll, has reassured, "This will be one quick hybrid."
Judging by previous Mugen models, the company always seems to focus on a synergy of pure efficiency and balance as well as presenting excellent track performance capabilities. Mugen engines also retain Honda's traditional normally-aspirated engine layout and showcase pure and linear high-revving power characteristics. The CR-Z Mugen is expected to be no different.
Mugen also specialises in engineering vast handling improvements, so the Mugen CR-Z will receive a bespoke Mugen sports suspension system, a high-performance brake package and a number of lightweight carbon fibre panel alterations and forged alloy wheels.
Hiro Toyoda of Mugen Euro said in a recent announcement,
"We wanted to extend the performance of the CR-Z. 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."
As mentioned, the Mugen Honda CR-Z will be unveiled at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK. At this stage there are no plans for the car to go into mainstream production, but depending on buyer's interest, the companies may change their mind. We'll keep you updated.