Sunday July 10th, 2011 14:48 Honda’s MUGEN hybrid car collaboration revealed at Goodwood

 

Visitors attending last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed witnessed the debut of Honda‘s latest hybrid concept car – The highly anticipated MUGEN Honda CR-Z Hybrid Concept. Two concept models were on display, the Honda CR-Z MUGEN RR Concept and the MUGEN CR-Z Concept.

The goal of the collaboration between MUGEN and Honda was to prove that hybrid cars could be exciting to drive. Colin Whittamore from MUGEN Euro, talking about the MUGEN CR-Z Concept, said: “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. 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!”

While the car retains the Honda IMA electric motor, the car’s original 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine has been rebuilt to MUGEN specification, with bespoke upgraded and strengthened internal components. The introduction of centrifugal forged-induction will help the CR-Z MUGEN to deliver over 50% more power and torque from the Honda’s petrol-electric drive train. Power output for the car is in the region of 200bhp.

Although there are no official performance figures for the CR-Z MUGEN as of yet, early tests with a prototype car give the concept car a 0-62mph time of around 6.6 seconds. As there will be up to a 15% increase in power to come from the engine, and an approximate reduction in chassis weight of 50kg, expect overall performance figures to be even better than.

In terms of fuel consumption, Whittamore was encouraged by early tests in this area. Fuel economy ranges from 50+ mpg in ‘eco’ mode, and 35+ mpg when using the boosted power in the ‘MUGEN’ mode.

As for the Honda CR-Z MUGEN RR Concept, its appearance suggests it is more focused for track use. It has a unique front aerodynamic bumper, front fender, side spoiler, rear bumper, rear wing, and 18” wheels. The “RR” moniker was adopted in order to represent the racing spirit of MUGEN. Unlike the MUGEN CR-Z Hybrid Concept, performance details are currently unavailable.

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