Performance hybrids seem to be the order of the day, with Porsche just moments ago unveiling its second-generation 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 and now Mugen Euro announcing plans for the development of a high-performance Honda CR-Z.
For those unaware of Mugen, the name applies to a motorsports and engineering group linked with Honda for the past several decades and is well regarded as the automaker’s official in-house tuner. Mugen Euro is the European arm of Mugen and is lead by Hiroki Toyoda.
As for its new high-performance Honda CR-Z, Mugen Euro claims the car will be worthy of wearing its fabled ‘Type R’ badging and will keep the CR-Z’s gasoline-electric hybrid system. You may recall that Honda was reportedly developing a turbocharged version of the CR-Z that ditched the hybrid system--it seems the Mugen Euro prepped CR-Z will not be that car.
Instead, it will be called the CR-Z Mugen and come with enhancements to both the hybrid hatchback's 1.5-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine and Honda IMA system to boost power and torque. Uprated brakes, suspension, wheels and tires will also be fitted.
The major engine changes, and those made to exhaust and induction, may even result in greater mpg and lower CO2 emissions during some conditions. However, at this early development stage, final power, torque and fuel economy figures are not yet known.
Lightweight components, including a carbon fiber bonnet, will be employed to lower the overall weight, and the car will use Mugen alloy wheels to reduce unsprung mass. To improve aerodynamics and give the car an even more sporting look, Mugen body parts will be added, including front and rear bumpers, and a spoiler.
Look out for a debut of the CR-Z Mugen at July’s 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Sadly, at this stage, the project is being developed purely as a one-off prototype, with no plans for a production version.
Also pictured is a Mugen CR-Z concept car that debut at last year's SEMA. The Honda go-fast division has also developed a string of performance accessories for the CR-Z, which are already on sale in various markets. For more details, click here for our previous story.