Early tests of Honda's supercharged CR-Z Mugen have delivered 0-60mph acceleration times similar to that of the Civic Type R – the project's performance target.

A prototype car based on a standard CR-Z has been tested with a 'stage 1' development version of the 1.5-litre engine, and 50kg weight saving over the standard CR-Z. Honda anticipates the final car will have 15 per cent more power than the 'stage 1' unit and 50 per cent more than the standard car - around 200PS.

"Early fuel consumption tests have also been encouraging," said Colin Whittamore from Mugen Euro. "We've retained the three driving modes from the standard car and economy ranges from 50+mpg in 'eco' mode to mid-30 mpg when tapping into the supercharged power in a special 'Mugen' mode."



Announced in March and due to make its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the CR-Z Mugen is said to have 'major' engine modifications, including the fitment of new induction and exhaust systems and a centrifugal supercharger. A centrifugal compressor increases boost with speed, so its response dovetails neatly with the low-speed power boost provided by the electric motor in the IMA hybrid system.

Externally the car has a carbon fibre bonnet and Mugen aerodynamic panels. Five-step adjustable dampers are fitted front and rear and both front and rear tracks have increased. There are bigger brake discs and four-pot monobloc calipers, inside 17-inch forged alloy Mugen GP wheels which reduce overall and unsprung mass.

“We wanted to extend the performance of the CR-Z,” said Hiro Toyoda of Mugen Euro when the car was announced. “It is already a fun car to drive, with an excellent chassis, but we thought that with more power and enhanced torque delivery it could be even more exciting. However, as with all Mugen projects, we have stayed true to the Honda design and philosophy, and the electric motor is still a vital ingredient to boost performance and economy.”

“This will be one quick hybrid,” said Martin Moll, Head of Marketing for Honda (UK). “With more torque, more power and Mugen's experience of working with Honda cars, we’re expecting great things. It promises to show how hybrid cars can be even more exciting to drive.”

Mugen Euro has developed a new control system called iCF, which allows all the elements of the electro-mechanical system to work in harmony.

“The idea was to use the significant advantage of the early torque provided by the Honda IMA electric motor, then increase the torque available from the petrol engine gradually, to first maintain and then increase this,” says Colin Whittamore from Mugen Euro in April. “A supercharger and complementary electronics allow us to very neatly map the IMA to the extra power and torque of the engine in a unique package, giving a smooth, integrated and powerful driving experience.”

The CR-Z Mugen is a joint project between Honda (UK) and Mugen Euro, the Northampton-based subsidiary of Honda’s long standing tuning partner Mugen. Honda maintains that the car is a one-off, with no plans for a production version.