• Oct 26, 2009

Honda CR-Z – Click above for high-res image gallery

While the idea of a performance-tuned hybrid may have seemed nonsensical only a couple of years ago, as the earth-friendly vehicles become more mainstream, the sub-segment will undoubtedly grow to attract a fair share of our attention. Case in point: reports from overseas indicate that Mugen is seriously toying with the idea of creating a high-performance version of the upcoming Honda CR-Z.

The Honda tuner par excellence shares a close, even familial relationship with the factory, and it reportedly sees the electric motor in the hybrid drive as a sort of replacement for a turbocharger, offering a bit of low-end boost to small gasoline engines that are down on torque. The result could redefine the Japanese hot hatch as we know it.



[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      They tune everything else from Honda. Why should this be any different??
        • 5 Years Ago
        i thought the mugen si was just a body kit and some wheels.... how is that tuning??
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Mugen Civic Si also had revised dampers, so I suppose that counts as "tuning."

        As stated before, I don't care if Mugen tunes the CR-Z. I just hope they don't sell it in the US as a separate model like the Civic Si. Honda should spare us the lame Mugen model and give us the real deal Type R (applies to both the Civic and CR-Z).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, this is kinda like saying Shelby will make a Mustang varient. or Alpina will tune a BMW...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Welp, I'm spent.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tuned hybrids are so cool, most of the time they can only tweak the suspension and handling - but it wont be long until they start to figure out how to mess with the ECU.

      when I was a kid we would take slot cars and twist the magnets inside their case or something to make them faster - forget now what we did - but they went faster.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I meant if this was a plug in hybird to charge it at home with cells on the roof of your house. TONS of people have solar cells on their home roofs now and can charge plug in hybirds like the Volt. I for one would love a performance hybird or plug in hybird or electric car. Like the Tesla, or the Fisker Karma. Those cars are performance focused, zero - or near zero emissions cars.
        I see where you are coming from though, given the current product offerings, the idea of a high performance hybird is still foreign - and that has created a divide between eco minded people and performance minded people.
        being an eco & performance minded person, I guess my options are currently limited to the Lightning GT, Fisker Karma S, & Tesla, (Porsche Panamera soon) and some concepts like the Fraser Nash Namir, Rinspeed iChange, Venturi Voltage,
        • 5 Years Ago
        Funny thing is , tunning the motor almost seems counter intuitive to the vehicles mission :)

        Mugen does do good work though, it would be nice to see if they can improve some of the short comings the Honda hybrid has had in the reviews.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Possibly then, hard to say. It seems like the crowd buying these cars love the challenge of Hypermiling. I can see wanting a sporty feeling car, but ultimately they purely want economy above all else (even over function is some cases).

        I would think the sports minded crowd would rather get a small diesel or I-4 hatch (and still maintain great fuel economy).

        To make a sporty suspension and look in a hybrid makes sense, but doing anything to the motor to hurt economy (even a small amount) seems counter intuitive to that demographic. Even getting some additional electricity through roof cells, wouldn't help hevy foot driving.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should fire whoever designs the front clips of Honda's and Acura's, this thing is awkward, not as bad yet as Acura's bottle opener but given time I'm sure it will be.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's not surprising at all. Mugen has even tuned the Insight but I'm excited to see what they will come up with.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wasn't the reason the Accord Hybrid canceled because consumers wanted a hybrid that got good fuel economy not sporty performance? Why do they think this will be any different?

        • 5 Years Ago
        if you can call anything that shares the insight powertrain sporty

        the batteries are dead weight, step one dump those anchors and put a real engine in there
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because this is a dedicated 'sporty' vehicle, not an Accord Hybrid which itself doesn't appeal to enthusiasts. The CR-Z at least offers a 6MT.
        • 5 Years Ago
        if you can call anything that shares the insight powertrain sporty

        the batteries are dead weight, step one dump those anchors and put a real engine in there
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about they tune it by turning it into a RWD car... You know, real tuning.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's easier to add electric motors into the rear chassis, making it AWD.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Imagine a new generation of the Honda tuners.
      They will buy laptop batteries on eBay, solder packs of them, and connect to a secret red button "Super Boost". Then they will add passenger pedals to charge the batteries.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Meh... I'm not feeling this car. Come on Honda, mooooove me!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It was bound to happen, but I'm happy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't like the look of it...I'm sure a full Mugen package will tack on at least $10k to the pricetag.

      http://www.tunedperception.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let's hope it's just more than aero, wheels, and accessories.
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