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10. Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ
Like the 2012 SEMA Show in America, the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon was packed with Toyota and Subaru’s latest sports car. But that’s not to say that there weren’t plenty of other attractions on the Makuhari Messe Convention Center show floor.
Coming in 10th on our list of Top 10 Cars of the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon is the Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ. Perhaps what the CR-Z should have been from the factory, minus the rear spoiler, the Mugen RZ is a supercharged hybrid powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder with 153 hp. Five-away adjustable coilovers give the CR-Z the sporty handling it deserves, while the body styling gives the CR-Z a much more attractive design. Too bad Mugen is only planning on selling 300 of them.
Joining the Prius Hybrid race car will be a Honda CR-Z developed with M-TEC Co., Ltd. and will be campaigned by Team Mugen. The hybrid racer won’t, however, be competing until Round 4 of the Super GT Series.
Unfortunately not a lot of details have been released by Honda, other than confirmation that the race car will be a reality and will have a hybrid racing system. The development driver for the project will be Hideki Mutoh, who is known for competing in the IndyCar Series and the GT500 class of Super GT. We’re guessing it will be some time before photos of the finished project surface considering Round 4 of the Super GT 2012 schedule isn’t until July 30th, 2012.
[Source: Jon Sibal]
Essentially an amateur racing series it lets drivers compete using spec CR-Zs (outfitted with Mugen wheels and an aero kit) on track. Each car also features a complete roll cage and Recaro driver’s seat with racing harnesses.
Running at Honda company tracks like Suzuki and Twin Ring Motegi, drivers get to feel just how much fun driving green can be. Exactly how fuel efficient a CR-Z at wide-open-throttle is, well…
GALLERY: Mugen CR-Z
Even though it was originally reported that Mugen’s supercharged Honda CR-Z would never see production, it looks like Toyota‘s introduction of the GT 86 and Subaru‘s BRZ might have changed Honda’s mind just a little bit. Mugen Euro and Honda confirmed that their supercharged 197-hp CR-Z will see the light of day with an estimated base price of around $35,650 (£23,000) based on today’s conversion rates.
The pricing actually isn’t that bad when compared to the price of a standard CR-Z in the UK, which is around £18,000. With the extra dollars, enthusiasts will get a supercharged powerplant with a retuned ECU, upping the factory 122-bhp and 128 lb-ft of torque to 197-bhp and 158 lb-ft of torque. In addition, buyers will be able to choose from a plethora of Mugen accessories including suspension upgrades, larger wheels, bigger brakes, a carbon hood and even carbon doors. The electric motor on the CR-Z has been untouched.
Hopefully one day we’ll see this in the States, even in a limited quantity. With the lack of a Type-R variant on any of Hondas models, a supercharged CR-Z option would be tempting to some looking for eco-friendly performance.
GALLERY: Mugen Honda CR-Z
Back in 2010, Mugen introduced its first version of the current generation Honda Civic Type-R with just a limited production of 20 units. And perhaps because they still have four of them left over, Mugen Euro decided to go back to the drawing board, finding new ways to entice owners to scoop up this version of the Civic Type-R.
This time, performance is increased to 256-hp and 177 lb-ft of torque, a 30-percent increase over factory. The “2.2″ in the name pretty much hints on what was done by Mugen, increasing the cylinder bore and stroke to 2,156-cc, essentially a 2.2-liter engine.
Despite the K20′s death in Japan, tuners all around the world still love it for its naturally aspirated performance potential. Mugen is hoping its 2.2 variant will breathe new life to their Civic Type-R model, possibly outfitting the remaining four units from 2010 with the new power plant. And even though nothing is confirmed, Mugen is considering allowing current 2010 model owners to bring their vehicles in for an upgrade. No plans of the 2.2 version have been finalized yet, which includes how many Mugen plans on selling to the public.
Here’s hoping Mugen gets a hold of the new 2012 Civic Si.
GALLERY: Mugen Honda Civic Type-R 2.2
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Mugen’s hot CR-Z RR Concept, but more photos have been released and there’s no reason not to share. Unfortunately, there are still no plans to releasing any of the parts or the vehicle and this version of Honda‘s sporty hybrid will remain a show car. Produced by M-TEC in Japan, the Concept shows off Mugen’s abilities to customize the function, style, performance and agility of the hybrid CR-Z.
Much of the CR-Z RR Concept consists of replacement carbon fiber body panels, including the hood, doors and rear hatch. The entire underbody also features carbon fiber while a twin exhaust shoots out the rear’s center. The suspension has been thoroughly tuned for race use while the orange 4-piston monobloc brakes may be overkill for the hybrid, but look great on the car and is consistent with its theme. Contrasting the Valencia Orange Pearl paint are black 18-inch wheels.
On the inside, the CR-Z RR Concept gets Mugen-branded leather/Alcantara seats and features a race-developed information screen that can gather data from the chassis and engine. Through the use of its satellite GPS, the system can monitor the car over two laps to learn a track after which it’ll record lap data and vehicle tracking.
GALLERY: Mugen Honda CR-Z RR
Honda‘s Japan-only Honda Fit Shuttle just got a whole lot more exciting and sporty thanks to Honda’s cohorts at Mugen. The Fit Shuttle is taller and longer than the Honda Fit we’re used to here in North America, making it more practical but arguably not as appealing to hip youngsters. Fortunately Mugen’s rendition of Honda’s Fit Shuttle puts the sport and fun back into the Fit.
Transforming the Fit Shuttle’s exterior entirely is Mugen’s aerodynamic kit that comes with a front bumper (with optional LED fog lights), a Mugen grille with illuminated “Hybrid” logo, a pair of new side skirts, a rear skirt and a roof spoiler. Optional accessories include carbon fiber mirror caps and a choice of 15- or 16-inch Mugen wheels.
For the interior, Mugen will outfit the Fit Shuttle with a door sign light, carbon rearview mirror cover and two-tone floor mats.
Performance-wise, Mugen offers a sport exhaust system for the Fit Shuttle, a suspension kit to give the Shuttle a lower stance and better handling capabilities, high-performance brakes and sport air filters.
No pricing was announced on any of these accessories.
GALLERY: Mugen Honda Fit Shuttle
Japanese tuner, Takero’s, is currently developing some aerodynamic pieces for the Honda Fit under its RS label, potentially offering a more affordable alternative to Mugen. The company’s demo car, however, shows the best of both worlds, with Takero’s body parts mixed in with Mugen’s. Most notably is there front bumper replacement, which is a less aggressive design than Mugen’s Fit and features a carbon fiber lip and carbon fiber front grille.
On their demo car, Takero’s uses Mugen’s side skirts which flow well with their front bumper while it rolls on 17×7-inch +53 offset Work Emotion XD9 wheels. On the rear of the car is a Mugen rear bumper, but Takero’s shows off their roof spoiler which can also be had with a carbon fiber lip, giving it a really clean and unique look.
We’re thinking it’s safe to assume Takero’s will outfit the Fit will a full body kit from bumper to bumper, but so far the progress they have made has been very impressive and we look forward to the finished product.
GALLERY: Takero’s Honda Fit RS
It’s been quite a while since Mugen and Honda had this much buzz surrounding a car. And while some are still rolling their eyes at the thought of a modified hybrid, Mugen is definitely poised to prove that you can have your cake and eat it too, finally announcing full specs of its supercharged CR-Z.
At the core of it all, Mugen has taken the CR-Z’s standard 1.5L and rebuilt it with upgraded internal components. The iCF system, which stands for Integrated Centrifugal Forced-induction (aka, supercharged), works flawlessly on the electric motor-engine combination. The result is an impressive increase in horsepower and torque, with 197-hp and 158 lb-ft, up from the factory’s 122-hp and 128 ft-lbs.
Even more impressive is Mugen’s comparison of the CR-Z to the infamous Honda Civic Type-R, stating that its 0-62 mph time is very close at 6.6 seconds. Mugen is looking to shave off even more weight from the CR-Z, hoping to make it quicker than the Civic Type-R was.
For those wondering what the impact is on fuel consumption, it’s fairly impressive to hear that the CR-Z in “eco” mode still retains 42-mpg while in “Mugen” mode it consumes 29.4-mpg. Overall, still not too shabby given the performance numbers it’s boasting.
And of course the Mugen CR-Z wouldn’t be a complete package if it solely focused on what’s underneath the hood. Mugen also outfits the CR-Z with a complete aero package, 17-inch Mugen GP wheels, carbon fiber hood and doors. For suspension, five-way adjustable dampers were added while braking was enhanced through larger rotors and 4-piston calipers. The Mugen CR-Z is also equipped with a different limited slip differential to help get all the extra power to the ground.
On the inside, Mugen tosses in a set of Recaro sport seats alongside a new shift knob, carbon fiber rear view mirror cover and a trio of Mugen gauges displaying water, oil temperature and pressure. This may be one of the finest offerings Mugen has yet to offer in the recent years, and we’re excited to see it up close and personal.
GALLERY: Mugen Honda CR-Z
Mugen Euro is looking to build off its success in developing a supercharged Honda CR-Z hybrid by spicing up the Honda Jazz (Fit in America). And while Mugen of Japan has already released several styling accessories for the Honda Jazz, Mugen Euro is looking to increase its performance and make it a much more exciting car to drive.
The 197-hp, 1.5L hybrid powerplant in the supercharged CR-Z that Mugen Euro is currently testing may find its way into a Mugen Honda Jazz. Mugen Euro’s general manager, Colin Whittamore, claims that it “wouldn’t be much of a stretch” to fit the motor into the Jazz’s engine bay. He did state that another option would be a high revving 2.0L VTEC powerplant used in the latest Civic Type R.
Whatever it may be, we’re just happy that people are still interested in adding performance to Hondas in world where everyone seems to only care about MPG.
GALLERY: Mugen Honda Jazz
[Source: Autocar UK]
Mugen’s European division will launch a version of the Honda CR-Z sport hybrid at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with significantly more ‘sport’.
According to Mugen Euro, the car will use the same 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine and Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system, offering more horsepower and torque. Also included in the package will be upgraded brakes, a new suspension package, a carbon fiber hood, new wheels and a rear spoiler.
The news is not just a rumor, but an official release from Honda UK, however, it is only a one-off concept.
“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.”
Honda is reportedly also working on a turbocharged version of the CR-Z for actual production that could wear the Type-R badge.
GALLERY: Mugen CR-Z
The Ariel Atom is one of the most pure driving machines on the planet. It has no doors or windows or roof. It’s essentially an exoskeleton shell with all its moving parts exposed to the elements, including the driver.
Since it has very few parts, it is very light and that makes for an incredible track car. This car certainly has its fans and its success has lead to the company now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
For this momentous occasion, Ariel has announced a new model which it is producing in conjunction with Mugen. The special edition Mugen version will feature a modified Honda K20Z motor, which will now produce 270-hp.
Only 10 examples of this model will be produced and it will make its first public debut at the Autosport International Show in January 2011.
Knowing that they potentially have a huge hit on their hands, Honda has really leveraged this year’s SEMA show to hand some of the aftermarket’s most brilliant minds their new CR-Z. Eibach Springs is one of these companies, and having received the car in July, they went straight to work researching and developing new products for the tiny hybrid. And with such a well-known brand as Eibach Springs behind the helm of this build, it’s no surprise that Eibach’s trusted partners for the past several decades also played a role in building the CR-Z for this year’s SEMA Show.
From the Eibach camp, they went straight to what they do best: suspension modifications. The Honda CR-Z was their test bed for a new set of springs, sway bars and mono-tube coilovers. For power, Eibach Springs called their friends at K&N to develop an intake for the new Honda sport hybrid.
Once they got their coilovers installed, the car headed off to get a roll bar designed and the C-West aero kit installed. To accent the C-West aero, Eibach Springs had a Mugen spoiler overnighted from Japan (no, this is not a Fast & Furious joke) – the deadlines of building a SEMA car are pretty stressful.
After paint and body, the car made it back to Eibach to have the Stoptech big brake kit installed along with a set of wheels. With the paint scheme and graphics applied, this CR-Z looks killer. The interior Sparco seats and roll bar really hint that Eibach will be flaunting it out at the track someday soon. We hope so.
With several other CR-Zs planned to be on display at SEMA we’ll be sure to bring you photos of all of them, with AutoGuide’s 2010 SEMA Show coverage starting November 2nd. Until then, check out our complete SEMA Preview here.
GALLERY: Eibach Springs SEMA Honda CR-Z
[Source: CRZ Forum]
Like here in North American, Mugen parts have long been available to hard-core Honda fans through tuner shops and online resources. But Honda fanboys in the United Kingdom can now get those same parts right from their local Honda dealer. That’s right, eight Honda dealers have just signed on to officially sell Mugen parts for both the Civic and the new CR-Z.
And the best part is, the parts are factory backed, meaning they won’t void the factory warranty.
It seems like we’re going crazy with Honda‘s new CR-Z, showing off Mugen’s initial release, TEIN’s CR-Z and Spoon Sports’ rendition of the popular hybrid in Japan. There’s absolutely no denying the popularity of tuning and customizing hybrids in Japan, and the trend is slowly catching on in North America.
It will be mighty interesting to see how things change when Honda’s CR-Z makes it over to North America. The hatchback has become a hot contender, being a pleasant substitute to the Honda Insight or Toyota’s Prius.
We were so excited to find these new photos of Mugen’s Demo Honda CR-Z all stickered up and on display in public. The accessories offered back in February included a full aero kit, carbon fiber mirrors and choice of wheels. Interior amenities included shift knob, gauges and floor mats. Engine performance were simple bolt-ons from cat-back exhaust to air filters. Suspension and brake upgrades are typical offerings from Mugen as well.
But now it seems that Mugen is possibly going beyond as is evident with this race-inspired Honda CR-Z full of stickers. The most interesting theme is the green accents on the car that sort of remind of Takata’s infamous shade. The wheels and mirrors have been refinished, contrasting the rest of the white car but flowing well with the “Honda Green Machine” theme. It is clear that both Honda and Mugen are pushing going green and it’s even possible that they will be pushing the limits of this CR-Z Hybrid out on the track. We’ll keep our eyes out, but for now we’ll salivate over the photos.
[Source: Jon Sibal]
GALLERY: Mugen Honda CR-Z