Not so long ago I blogged about how Honda needed a halo model to re-boot the brand after mothballing Swindon for so many months. It’s reassuring to know that the powers that be in Japan are devotees of Top Gear.
Here comes the Mugen-tuned Civic Type R, a lighter, harder track-tuned version of the measly 198bhp standard car (Championship White Edition pictured, top), ready to mix it with the Focus RS, Scirocco R and such like. As far as we gather, it’ll be somewhere between 240-250bhp.
Or it would be if it wasn’t going to be heavily limited (around 100 units to the UK) and an absurd £35,000 or more, depending on your level of refinements.
In reality this is a seriously rare groove motor, more in keeping with the brutalist brilliance of the Megane R26R. A proper track day special then, with no rear seats, lots of carbon trim and a bespoke aero kit. You can even order a custom Mugen rebuild to your exacting specification, if you’re exceedingly wealthy and unable to see beyond owning a Civic.
But although this little number will just be a passing curio for the most of us, it’s still going to act as something of a flag in the sand for Mugen (Japanese spec saloon pictured, bottom) in the UK. We once drove one of those Mugen Civic Type R saloons in Japan, and it was breathtaking. It will donate some of its engine hot-up parts to this upcoming Europe-only hatchback Mugen Civic Type R.
With Honda’s blessing the tuning outfit is said to be setting up stall over here rather more permanently. Which can only be a good thing.