Honda has confirmed it will sell a faster, Mugen version of its Civic Type R hot hatchback.
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Mugen is effectively Honda’s equivalent of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG or BMW’s M Division. Although not a part of the main Honda company, Mugen builds racing versions of many of its cars on Honda’s behalf, and it is especially well recognised for its engine tuning and development – including that in Honda’s Formula 1 cars.
The limited edition Honda Civic Type R Mugen will be prepared at Mugen’s European base in Northampton. Standard Type R vehicles will be taken directly from the production line in Swindon and treated to a package of improvements that aim to transform them into road-going racing cars.
More power, sharper handling
Under the bonnet, the regular 2.0-litre naturally aspirated i-VTEC petrol engine is boosted from 197bhp to 236bhp. This is an impressive 20% increase, resulting in 118bhp per litre – a staggering figure for an engine that isn’t assisted by a turbocharger. New camshafts, pistons, intake, exhaust and engine management all contribute to the enlarged total.
Custom-made springs and dampers, a limited slip differential (similar to that fitted to the Championship White edition Type R, which helps with cornering traction), enlarged brakes and lightweight alloy wheels complete the chassis modifications. The exterior is also treated to an aggressive Mugen makeover.
A rare treat – but pricey
This is the first time a Mugen engine has ever officially been offered for sale in a UK road vehicle. Honda says the buying experience will be more akin to the build process of a racing car, with the customer involved with the engineers every step of the way.
This, and the fact that Honda is planning to build just 20 of these exclusive cars, goes some way to explaining the asking price of £38,599 – an amount that would get you an awful lot of Audi or BMW. The regular Honda Civic Type R GT currently costs £19,980.
However, the lucky few who take the plunge will be getting one of the most focused front-wheel drive hot hatches ever to go on sale. A Japanese Civic Mugen limited edition of 300 cars sold out in just six minutes, so demand may well outstrip supply.
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