Honda dares to dream different

Honda CR-Z Mugen
Honda CR-Z Mugen
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The Honda CR-Z Mugen (pictured right) is, at present, a mere concept but too much work has gone into the engineering of this car for it to remain so indefinitely.

Certain parts of the project are very promising. Chassis tuning remains a work in progress but the engine certainly seems a logical step forward for the CR-Z range.

Most interestingly, the Mugen builds on the good work done by the standard CR-Z in changing the perception of hybrid vehicles.

Yes, they have their place as eco cars but the combination of an electric motor and a punchy supercharged petrol engine seems too good to pass up.

With 197bhp at its elbow, the CR-Z Mugen develops exactly the same peak output as the Civic Type-R and this car manages broadly similar sprinting ability, getting to 60mph from a standstill in 6.6 seconds.

The supercharger lifts power from the ‘cooking’ CR-Z’s 122bhp and works in concert with the electric Integrated Motor Assist (IMA). Although the IMA system only contributes 20bhp to the party, the torque response of the motor means that it gets off the line strongly and cleanly.

Immediately thereafter, the supercharger comes on stream, with peak torque building to a point at 5,000rpm.

Uprated brakes, suspension and differential also feature.

If Honda and Mugen don’t exploit this niche, somebody else will. The hot hatch is a concept that has remained rather hidebound in its execution. The CR-Z Mugen, if executed properly, could really shake up the establishment.

FACTS AT A GLANCE

CAR: Honda CR-Z Mugen

PRICE: n/a

INSURANCE GROUP: n/a

CO2 EMISSIONS: tba

PERFORMANCE: 0-60 6.6s

FUEL CONSUMPTION: tba

STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Electronic stability control, ABS with brake assist, twin front and side airbags

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm 4079/2014/1380