Friday, 9 September 2011

Mugen CR-Z - Ecovelocity

The man from Honda was, quite understandably, rather keen for nobody to touch the Mugen CR-Z. It's the only one in existence, you see - a development mule that's thus far cost over £160,000 to build and test. He was kind enough to open her up for me though, and chatted enthusiastically about what a brilliant little car it really is.
What Mugen have done is to strap a dinky supercharger to the CR-Z's rev-happy 1500cc VTEC unit, and complement it with a carbon-fibre induction system and a raspy motorsport exhaust to provide 197bhp & 158lb.ft. But it's not all about the power; if you drive frugally you can achieve 50mpg, but if you drive it properly you can still get 35mpg-ish.
As a base, the CR-Z is already a featherweight, but Mugen have worked away at this with further weight-savings, not least with a carbon-fibre bonnet which, trust me, you can easily lift with one finger. Add to this unique 5-way adjustable dampers, huge 320mm brake discs with four-pot calipers and ineffably cool Recaro seats, and it's an impressive little package. Let's just hope that they can develop it fully as a mainstream Honda model... because it's bloody good, but maybe not £160k good!

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