SEMA 2009: Mugen-fettled Accord, Fit aren't the big Honda story from SEMA

Mugen Honda Fit and Accord - Click above for high-res image gallery

In addition to announcing its plans to reinvigorate its participation in grassroots racing, Honda revealed two Mugen-accessorized models -- a 2010 Accord Sedan and Fit -- each outfitted with a range of parts available at dealers, but not a standalone model, ala Mugen Civic. While the 18-inch chrome wheels, front grille, spoilers, floor mats and machined aluminum oil filler cap are attractive additions to Honda's growing HFP line, needless to say, they leave us a bit cold when it comes the automaker's commitment to the aftermarket and, more to the point, performance.

Uninspiring SEMA efforts aside, the real news came last night during a meeting with Honda execs, where we were able to glean a few more details about Honda's future performance plans, how the CR-Z -- and more to the point, hybrids -- fit in and something to look out for next year.

Honda PR man Chuck Schifsky, told us that the Big H plans to use hybrids as a performance booster in the future, saying, "The CR-Z isn't the last step. It's the beginning." Although the real start of Honda's performance-marketed hybrids began with the last generation Accord Hybrid, Schifsky admits that its introduction was "ahead of its time," one of many reasons the electric-assisted sedan never quite caught on with consumers.

More interestingly, several Honda heads told us to expect something big in the world of motorsports next year -- likely in Japan. What that means is open to interpretation, but with Honda pulling its NSX out of SuperGT for 2010 (due to the front-engine, rear-drive chassis requirements), something interesting could be on the way. NSX revival? Lexus LFA fighter? Consider our interest extremely piqued...

Photos copyright ©2009 Damon Lavrinc / Weblogs, Inc.

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