Not to be a total buzzkill, but before we tell you about Mugen and its plans to create a hotter Honda CR-Z hatchback, there's one little line in the automaker's press release that needs to be noted in italicized type:
At this stage, the CR-Z Mugen is being developed purely as a one-off prototype, with no plans for a production version.
Honda may call its 2011 CR-Z a "sport hybrid," but ever since our first time behind the wheel, we've felt more than a little disappointed. It's an enjoyable enough steer, but remains in dire need of some more oomph, and even with the automaker's Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system on board, the resulting fuel economy isn't as great as one might expect for a car of its size and utility.
Honda tuning house Mugen Euro is set to rectify the need for a CR-Z with more spice – in concept form, anyway – with a hotted-up hatch that will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Mugen will offer enhancements for the CR-Z's 1.5-liter engine and IMA system to boost both horsepower and torque – creating "Type R-like performance" – while new brakes and suspension geometry will better communicate the added power to the driver. Mugen even says that these changes could result in improved fuel economy, though no official statistics have been divulged as of this writing.
So what if there aren't any plans for production (just yet). At least we know Honda has heard our cries. Follow the jump for the full press blast.
Live images copyright ©2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL
[Source: Mugen Euro]
MUGEN Euro is developing a highly-tuned version of Honda's CR-Z, which will deliver "Type R-like" performance from the hybrid's petrol-electric powertrain – and may offer even better fuel economy.
This faster, more powerful car will make its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
The CR-Z MUGEN will feature enhancements to both the 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and the Honda IMA system to boost power and torque, while bespoke brakes and suspension will be fitted to improve the chassis dynamics.
The major engine changes, and those made to exhaust and induction, may even result in greater mpg and lower CO2 emissions during some conditions. However, at this early development stage, final power, torque and fuel economy figures are not yet known.
Lightweight components, including a carbon fibre bonnet, will be employed to lower the overall weight, and the car will use MUGEN alloy wheels to reduce unsprung mass.
To improve aerodynamics and give the car an even more sporting look, MUGEN body parts will be added, including front and rear bumpers, and a spoiler.
"We wanted to extend the performance of the CR-Z," says Hiro Toyoda of MUGEN Euro. "It is already a fun car to drive, with an excellent chassis, but we thought that with more power and enhanced torque delivery it could be even more exciting. However, as with all MUGEN projects, we have stayed true to the Honda design and philosophy, and the electric motor is still a vital ingredient to boost performance and economy."
The CR-Z MUGEN is a joint project between Honda (UK) and MUGEN Euro – the Northampton-based subsidiary of Honda's long standing tuning partner MUGEN. In 2009, MUGEN Euro produced the Civic Type R MUGEN, an extreme, 240PS version of Honda popular hot hatch.
"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."
At this stage, the CR-Z MUGEN is being developed purely as a one-off prototype, with no plans for a production version.