(continued from above)
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-liter i-VTEC petrol engine, which
has been rebuilt to Mugen specification with bespoke upgraded and strengthened
"When we first approached this program, we
considered what to do with the Honda IMA system, and the answer was immediate
and obvious - utilize it and build on it," explains Whittamore.
addition of centrifugal forced-induction under the bonnet helps the 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 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 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 recognize."
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.
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
fiber 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.
Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept: Review (2/2)