If you like the looks of the Mugen-tuned CR-Z in the picture above, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that the car has legitimate performance gains over the stock CR-Z, yet still delivers reasonable fuel economy. The bad news is that the car is a work in progress, and is still officially described as a “concept vehicle”. The translation of that is that it may or may not see production, and that production may or may not be sold in the United States. Honda isn’t releasing a lot of performance data just yet, since the car won’t be “officially” unveiled until July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
So far, Honda is claiming that the Mugen CR-Z’s 0 to 60 time is comparable to a European market Civic Type R, which does the run in 6.6 seconds. Since that benchmark was achieved, Mugen has shed 110 pounds from the CR-Z and has bumped up power by another 15 percent; in other words, the Mugen CR-Z that the world will see at Goodwood will be “noticeably quicker” than an EU market Civic Type R.
Mugen has retained the car’s three-mode personality, and they’re quick to point out that the car is still “green”. In Eco mode (which is terrifyingly slow in a stock CR-Z), Mugen claims to get nearly 42 mpg, which is comparable to a stock CR-Z. In “Mugen” mode, which replaces Honda’s “Sport” mode, the car still gets 29 mpg, not bad, considering that the Mugen car uses a supercharger to boost power.
The Mugen-tuned CR-Z will also get lighter wheels, bigger brakes and a stiffer suspension, which tells me that these components will probably be available ala carte, even if Honda doesn’t sell the Mugen CR-Z on this side of the pond. It’s not the turbocharged, gasoline engined CR-Z we’d been hoping for, but the Mugen CR-Z may turn out to be the next best thing.