Skip advert
Advertisement

Honda CR-Z Mugen hybrid review

Honda has created a hot hatch hybrid with the CR-Z Mugen complete with supercharged engine. It's green, but is it good to drive?

Evo rating
  • A unique performance car experience
  • It's a one-off, for now...

What is it?

 

The Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe, with added Mugen performance. It’s a one-off prototype worth about £150,000, but if reaction is good, a limited-run hot hatch (like the £40K Civic Type-R Mugen) could follow.

 

Technical highlights?

 

Lots. The CR-Z’s combination of electric motor and 1.5-litre petrol power remains, but the latter gains a supercharger, upping total power and torque figures to 197bhp and 158lb ft, respective rises of 75bhp and 30lb ft.

 

There are also new five-way adjustable dampers, a wider front track, more powerful brakes (320mm vented and grooved discs with four-pot calipers up front) and 52kg less weight compared to a standard CR-Z. This comes courtesy of a carbon bonnet and doors, sports front seats and the deletion of the rears. Overrall it’s enough to yield a 185bhp/ton figure, which is a whopping 80 per cent more potent than the standard car.

What’s it like to drive?

 

Pace is impressive, the electric motor’s low-down grunt enough for some amusing torque steer before the supercharger comes on song and you’re carried up the road with a useful lick of pace. The standard six-speed gearing is a disappointment, though; hang onto all the revs and when you change up a ratio, you drop just out of the supercharger’s powerband, so acceleration can feel a little stunted.

 

Cornering ability is much stronger than a regular CR-Z, and closer to Honda’s Type-R range for both entertainment and composure, with body-roll far less evident. The fitment of semi-slick Yokohama Advan tyres endows this Mugen with more grip than power; we’d prefer a good set of road tyres and a bit more playfulness.

 

Nearly a finished article, then, and the mixture of electric whistle, supercharger whine and Darth Vadar-like induction roar makes the driving experience very unique indeed.

 

How does it compare?

 

A Renaultsport Megane 250 is more powerful, practical and much cheaper. But potential buyers are likely to be those happy to pay used M3 money for a limited edition hatchback, much like Mugen’s Civic Type-R, so chances are if you want one, you’ll be digging out Honda’s phone number now.

Anything else I need to know?

 

The Honda CR-Z Mugen makes its public debut at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 1.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4cyl, 1497cc, hybrid, supercharged
Max power197bhp @ 6300rpm
Max torque158lb ft @ 5000rpm
0-606.6sec (est)
Top speed145mph (est)
On saleNot yet!
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Fast Ford heaven: a tour of the ultimate Ford garage
Ford Heritage Collection tour
Features

Fast Ford heaven: a tour of the ultimate Ford garage

Who doesn’t love a fast Ford? Prepare for a nostalgia overload as we get a guided tour of Ford UK’s magnificent, newly rehomed Heritage Collection
7 Jul 2024
Speed limiters are now mandatory, but you can turn them off
80mph motorway speed limit
News

Speed limiters are now mandatory, but you can turn them off

The use of mandatory speed limiters on all new cars was approved by the European Parliament in 2019, and they're now coming into force
5 Jul 2024
Ford Focus ST Track Pack v Honda Civic Type R: sharpened Focus tackles the hot hatch king
Ford Focus ST Track Pack v Honda Civic Type R
Group tests

Ford Focus ST Track Pack v Honda Civic Type R: sharpened Focus tackles the hot hatch king

The Civic Type R has so far seen off all challengers, but will it meet its match in the trackday-friendly Focus ST?
8 Jul 2024