Mugen to give Honda CR-Z more power and aggressive appeal

Mugen to give Honda CR-Z more power and aggressive appeal

Right now performance cars fans have no issues drive their petrol powered machines, but in the future if petrol keeps rising in price, simple economics might push us all into much different machines.

Whether you’re into it or not hybrid-power is here to stay and in 10 or 15 years time it may make up a major component of the performance car scene. We have begun to see more sports focused hybrids in the last couple of years and one of the first to have any genuine interest to performance car fans is the Honda CR-Z.

Built as a spiritual successor to Honda’s iconic CR-X the CR-Z looks cool but doesn’t have a real performance vehicle. That’s right, it’s a bit slow, but that is expected to change with the help of Honda’s Mugen performance division. Mugen is preparing a “highly-tuned” version of the CR-Z that it claims will deliver “Type R-like” performance. This faster, more powerful CR-Z Mugen prototype is being developed as a joint project between Honda UK and Mugen Euro, and will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this July.

Honda claims that the CR-Z Mugen prototype will feature modifications to both the 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and the Honda IMA system to boost power and torque. Surprisingly these mods may actually result in even better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions during some conditions. Final power, torque and fuel economy figures haven’t been announced yet.

Other performance upgrades include a bespoke braking package, retuned suspension and Mugen will also make use of lightweight components such as a carbon fibre bonnet and lightweight alloy wheels. The special CR-Z will also receive a new body kit that includes a new front apron, grille with LED daytime running lights, roof-mounted wing and deep side skirting.

“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.”

For now Mugen has said that the go-hard CR-Z is still just in development and there are no plans for a production version, but it seems too much effort for no reward. All we need now is for Honda NZ to start bringing in some standard CR-Zs, but it shouldn’t be long before a small Japanese import population begins trickling in.

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