Honda's in-house performance division Mugen has had trouble gaining traction here in the United States, but it's well embraced in other parts of the globe. Catering to its fans, Mugen recently crafted a performance variant of the CR-Z set to debut in Europe later this year.
"This will be one quick hybrid," said Martin Moll, Honda's head of marketing for the United Kingdom. "With more torque, more power and Mugen's experience of working with Honda cars, we're expecting great things."
Setting out to prove hybrids can be viable performance machines while retaining a respectable fuel economy, Mugen set its sights on the new CR-Z. Through its transformation, Mugen replaced stock intake and exhaust piping for improved airflow, while the 1.5-liter I-4 engine and IMA also received improvements. Although it's yet to be finalized, Mugen claims the car's power output will be north of the 200 horsepower mark, potentially doubling the car's factory-rated 122-horsepower figure.
The extensive powertrain upgrades are also said to increase fuel economy, which is also improved in part by a carbon fiber hood and lightweight Mugen wheels. Other exterior enhancements involve Mugen front and rear fascias and a new spoiler. An overhauled suspension and upgraded braking system complete the modifications.
Honda says it has no intention of mass producing the car, but we'll keep our fingers crossed anyway. The Mugen CR-Z is set to make its world debut at the Goodwood festival of speed in July.