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Mugen Honda CR-Z Hybrid – but don’t get too excited

Sat, 27 Feb 2010 00:00:00 -0800

The Honda CR-Z Hybrid gets the Mugen treatment

Honda are trying to tell anyone who will listen that the Hybrid Honda CR-Z is a modern version of the Honda CRX. You know, all fun and sporty and nimble and on the right side of warm, but with all the green goodness people think they have to want.

We haven’t actually come across anyone who buys in to the idea, but Honda aren’t giving up on the marketing pitch of the Honda CR-Z as the first ‘Sporty’ hybrid with the production version of the CR-Z debuting at Geneva next week.  They’ve drafted in the big guns to give the CR-Z some credibility, with a range of Mugen accessories for the CR-Z about to hit the aftermarket.

Which has got to be great news for a car with sporty pretensions that can actually only deliver a maximum of 122bhp, even when its little 1.5 litre 4-pot is buzzing away at the same time as its sewing machine motor. So what do you get? Let’s start with the cosmetic bits.

There’s side skirts and a huge wing on the roof;  LED lamps in a new grille; endless alloy options; triangular tips on the exhaust; carbon fiber rear-view mirror; ali gear knob; a three-gauge instrument cluster on top of the dash (which looks a bit like the Halfords special on the Focus RS) and some Mugen floor mats. Right, so now it looks the part, let’s add all the real meaty stuff so it goes properly.

You can sort the suspension so your Mugen Honda CR-Z goes round corners properly with upgraded springs and shocks, and you can change the exhaust and add Mugen brake pads and… that’s it. The same arthritic lump and sewing machine motor. The same far from impressive performance. And actually, we’re guessing, the same (or worse)  far from impressive CO2 emissions (for surely, that is the point of this sort of Hybrid) of 117g/km.

If you bolt on the new Mugen goodies you might – if you’re really, really lucky – be able to release enough extra power from changing the exhaust to compensate for the weight of the Mugen bits you’ve fitted.

And you’ll probably have spent the equivalent of buying a Scirocco R.


By Cars UK