2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept images

2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept 

2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept 

2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept 

2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept 

2011 Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept
Mugen Euro has developed a highly-tuned version of the Honda CR-Z that aims to deliver up to 200PS and 215Nm of torque by boosting the hybrid's petrol-electric powertrain

The goal of the project was to prove hybrid cars can be exciting to drive, by producing "Civic Type R-like" performance from the hybrid coupe while remaining sympathetic to the original Honda direction for the CR-Z.

"We wanted a car that has genuine performance available at the touch of a button, but can perform just like a standard CR-Z and offer good fuel economy when the driver wishes," says Colin Whittamore from Mugen Euro. "For that reason we've kept the three driving modes, so the driver can select 'eco' or 'normal' to switch to economy and low emissions for the daily drive, but press the Mugen button for the full-blown 'weekend warrior' settings!"

The car retains both the Honda IMA electric motor and the original 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, which has been rebuilt to Mugen specification with bespoke upgraded and strengthened internal components.

"When we first approached this programme, we considered what to do with the Honda IMA system, and the answer was immediate and obvious - utilise it and build on it," explains Whittamore.

The addition of centrifugal forced-induction under the bonnet helps the Honda CR-Z Mugen deliver over 50 percent more power and torque from the Honda's petrol-electric drive train.

In order to give a fully integrated and smooth power delivery, Mugen Euro has developed the Mugen iCF system, the Mugen acronym for Integrated Centrifugal Forced-induction, which allows all the elements of the electro-mechanical system, including the forced-induction system, IMA motor and petrol engine, to work in harmony.

"The idea was to use the significant advantage of the early torque provided by the Honda IMA electric motor, then increase the torque available from the engine progressively," says Whittamore.

The iCF, along with an electronics upgrade, allowed Mugen to very neatly map the IMA to the extra power and torque of the engine, giving a smooth, integrated and powerful driving experience.

"I have to say that when any of us have jumped into the Honda CR-Z Mugen it has delighted us all," says Whittamore. "It's exactly what we were looking for. And the real beauty is that it can still be driven in the way customers of the standard CR-Z would recognise."

The Honda CR-Z Mugen needed to be visually different enough to attract attention, yet subtle enough to be aesthetically pleasing. Mugen also wanted to demonstrate the high quality of its parts, offering a solution that enhances and integrates with the original CR-Z styling, in line with the Mugen philosophy of custom parts with original manufacturer standards of quality and fitment.

Additions to the exterior of the car include Mugen front and rear under spoilers, side skirts, rear wing and 17-inch lightweight forged alloy Mugen GP wheels. Carbon fibre bonnet and doors not only reduce the overall weight of the car but enhance the sporty look, while the eye-catching Brilliant Orange Metallic paint provides the finishing touch.

The interior of the car continues the sporty theme, with lightweight Recaro sport seats and Mugen accessories, including a weighted gear knob and carbon rear view mirror cover. The assist meters display and record water and oil temperatures and oil pressure. These dials are able to display these in finer detail than the OEM read-outs and allow the driver to more easily see sudden changes or fluctuations under hard driving conditions. They can also be used to warn the driver if any of the values fall outside the customisable pre-set parameters.

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