Thursday, 4 August 2011 4:17 PM
Perhaps it's a case of European versus Japanese inter-office one-upmanship, or maybe a glimpse into the CR-Z’s future design and performance direction – either way; this Honda CR-Z Mugen RR is as hot as a fresh chili toothpaste.
We’ve already seen Mugen Europe’s faster and more focused 200bhp take on the fun-driving Honda CR-Z hybrid, but it seems that Mugen of Japan – the home of tuning; that’s Japan not Mugen – saw fit to show those Euro-modifiers what wild performance styling is all about. Are we about to witness a mega-modifying build-off towards some kind of CR-Zilla? Ah no; no plans to build these hot hybrids as yet, I’m afraid.
The latest CR-Z RR Mugen monster has been created with many one-off prototype parts, many of which are woven from the black, light and strong weave; carbon fibre. These include the bonnet, passenger doors, rear tailgate and full length carbon fibre underbody.
Large, gulping vents make several styling splashes around the RR, mixing it up with more mad modified touches like the twin, central-exit exhaust and black 18-inch forged alloy wheels under and race-developed suspension, framing orange 4-piston monobloc brake callipers. The pulsing Valencia Orange Pearl paintjob is not a million miles away from the beautiful bronze of Mugen Europe’s original CR-Z mod job.
It’s not exactly quiet-time inside the RR car either, with the seats matching the paintwork for eye-searing style in Mugen-branded colour-coded leather and Alcantara. Hot laps are counted and encouraged by a more fun-focused in-dash screen that can record chassis and engine data as well as housing the sat-nav and audio systems. This techno wizardry can monitor the car over two laps to “learn” a circuit and then record lap data and vehicle tracking using GPS. There’s lashing more carbon fibre, too.
As we’ve already said, Honda express no plans to build these more crackling CR-Zs, but surely with so much style and performance potential already indentified and exploited, not to mention the cyber-love already heaped on these hotter Hondas, the famously performance-hungry manufacturer must surely take the hint and get these bad-boys built.
Oh it exists alright, and having taken these pics in the carbon-flesh at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month, I can confirm that the Honda CR-Z Mugen RR is as mean as a particularly rattled rattlesnake
By Daniel Anslow
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