When the crew at Mugen finally got around to turning out their take on the Honda CR-Z, we all got pretty excited. With 200 horsepower from the same 1.5-liter IMA engine and motor combination, 100 pounds less weight and a buffet of aftermarket go-fast, stick-hard and brake-harder goodies, the car looked to be what the CR-Z was supposed to offer from the get-go. Honda recently tossed the keys to the good people of Fifth Gear who set to putting the car through its paces in the rolling English countryside.
What'd they find out? While the Mugen CR-Z is decidedly quicker than its factory counterpart, the hatchback is also a bit more of a pain to live with. Stiff springs, an overzealous limited-slip differential and a buzz-happy exhaust make for a car that's more content on the race track than on public streets. Even so, there's little arguing with 200 horsepower in a flingable machine. Hit the jump to check out a video of Fifth Gear's impressions for yourself.