Vijay Pattni17 March 2011

Super-tuner Mugen to build hot CR-Z

Famous Japanese spannermeisters to ratchet up the heat on Honda’s funky hybrid coupe

Honda has pressed the Big Red Button on its Mugen-Phone to summon the dark knights of tuning.

The famous Japanese spannermeisters are currently building a prototype version of the CR-Z; a prototype that will pack Type R levels of performance and, perhaps, a touch more fuel economy.

Mugen will fiddle with the CR-Z's 1.5-litre petrol engine and its IMA setup in an attempt to boost both power and torque. No estimates or figures have been released, but when the tuners swarmed over the Civic Type R, they upped power to 237bhp.

Along with some engine mods, Mugen is also planning bespoke brakes, suspension tuning to improve the chassis, lightweight components - including a carbon-fibre bonnet - to reduce weight and also lightweight alloys to reduce unsprung mass.

There will, of course, be a dizzying visual statement to match this bravado, manifested in the form of front and rear bumpers and a rear spoiler of unknown girth.

A Honda spokesman assures us that the Mugen CR-Z will be "one quick hybrid", adding: "It promises to show how hybrid cars can be even more exciting to drive."

The final bat-finned eco-racer will hit the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

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