Today's weird Japanese hot hatch is the Mugen N One | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Hot Hatch

Today's weird Japanese hot hatch is the Mugen N One

Heard the one about the kei car with dive planes, forged wheels and Type R damping?

Published: 23 Nov 2020
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Japanese hot hatchbacks are flavour of the month. But brilliant though the Toyota GR Yaris undeniably is, squeezing an overpowered engine into an undersized car – giving it burlier arches at the same time – is all very conventional.

We want madness. Weirdness. Something very few people outside of the early stages of Gran Turismo career mode will understand. We want the Mugen N One.

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It’s a Honda N One kei car – a front-runner for ‘Cutest Car in the World 2020’ – with a bit of menace injected into it. So there’s a set of forged alloy wheels, to save what scant few expendable grams the N One carries. A new ‘high performance air filter’ and sports exhaust system. And – somewhat madly – sports dampers that’ve filtered down from the Civic Type R.

This despite the fact the Mugen N One uses the same 63bhp, 660cc engine as the stock Honda version. Which may make its rear spoiler, front splitter and titchy little dive planes seem somewhat OTT.

Do we care? Do we heck. It’s adorable. Reckon it deserves to slot its way into this list?

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