Euro Mugen on its way?

Posted by Matt Master at 3:31 pm on Tuesday June 16, 2009

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.
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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.

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  1. orkneyman001 said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Great, though why only 100 units??? And for £35 grand, you could get a BMW for that….. At least it’ll give the boy racers a reason to stick minging stickers and lambo doors on it!!!

  2. Top Gearer said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to comment Report comment

    There only selling 100 units because they want to keep it rare-hence the price. Advice: Go to your local japanese importer and save thousands.

  3. Devik said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    BRABUS BULLIT
    BRABUS BULLIT
    BRABUS BULLIT
    BRABUS BULLIT
    BRABUS BULLIT
    BRABUS BULLIT
    BRABUS BULLIT

    Test it PLEEEASE !

  4. KOB said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Mugen did a bang up job with Jordan F1 in the late 90′s using old Honda bits. Perhaps a Brawn/Mugen in the pipeline?

  5. PetrolHead247 said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Maybe Honda isn’t so sensible after all. They do have a huge reputation among pensioners though, well maybe not the Civic Type-R Mugen edition. Honda are lucky to have a hugely respected tuning company by their side so odviously they need to keep the relationship between ‘big boring company’ and ‘insane tuning company’ running smoothly.

    But i haven’t heard much from Mugen this year and Honda haven’t had the best sales figures this year so odviously Mugen needed to get there hands on a Civic Type-R and tune it up to Scirocco R territory. But it’s pointless putting all that power in a car which has torsion bar rear suspension.

    The old Type-R had fully independent rear suspension which made the car incredible round corners, but the new Type-R has torsion bar rear suspension which is much cheaper, but is much worse. It ruins the joy and fun of throwing a hot hatch into a corner and getting some lovely oversteer as you exit the corner. Instead you just get a lump of understeer, it’s boring.

    It’s good that Honda and Mugen are still creating great cars together and it’s even better to see than neither of them have been swallowed up by the credit crunch. I just wish they make an amazing product, like a new S2000, a Jazz Type-R or even a mad Mugen tuned Jazz.

    So if the Mugen Type-R has a much improved rear suspension system (preferably like the old Type-R or new Focus) then i’d be very tempted to buy it, but if the suspension is the same old money-saving load of rubbish, then i’d stay away from it.

  6. bushmann said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 3:34 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ..another honda racer.. flag in the sand ? or wee ..in the sand.. ?? For 35k a pop, yes.., I mean NO!! If the powers that be in japan decided to move their shed overhere it’s probably because they themselves are kinda out of ideas…

  7. Paul Horrell said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to comment Report comment

    to PetrolHead247 Have you actually driven the new TypeR? It’s pretty exciting. I don’t think the on-road handling is worse than the old one. It’s more refined, yes, but when you push it it’s just as much fun, and understeer isn;t a problem. Maybe you can’t do quite such crazy things on a track, but going crazy sideways is the slow way round.

  8. TheM said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to comment Report comment

    PetrolHead247. you have memorized Clarkson’s words very carefully i see. But i don’t really see what the fuss is all about. I drive the new Type R and i love it, ok the ride is bad, but i don’t care, it’s great fun and i don’t see a problem in having fun.

  9. The El Man said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to comment Report comment

    If this is anything like the Mugen RR itwill be sweet. I just wish they would release the Saloon Type-R. I saw one in Macao and it looked so smart! If its the same 237bhp engine as the RR then thats superb! 0-60 is as quick as the RS Focus, and the handling is superb.

    Why does no one talk about the Mazdaspeed3? In the USA they love that car, and its obviously very fast and they hate hatchback and we (not me personlaly though) love them, but never hear anything here.

    Get a grip Honda.. release the JDM Saloon RR and the USDM Si Coupe here!

  10. Rob said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The hatchback is cooler as a track racer anyday over the sedan. Twin Turbocharge the engine and a few pair of racing springs..and away u go..it is a happy 3 wheel car..

  11. Lloydy said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The Jap saloon is much better looking, more practical and more powerful in their Type-R model. So i’d import one of those. :)

  12. musicmanvin said...
    Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 11:43 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ehhh…. you guys in the UK shouldn’t count on much. we got a Mugen version over here in the US for our Si coupe, and all it gained was new accessories, and some slight suspension tuning, and they upped the price around 8k :/

    maybe you’ll get more then us.. but still, it’s not going to be as fast as a stock JDM Type-R. Honda likes to keep their gems in japan >:(

  13. WAT said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 4:24 am Link to comment Report comment

    The editor who drove the Mugen Type R Sedan isn’t kidding. While it looks innocent enough it will keep up with RWD sports cars it “should not”. There’s vids in the blogosphere racing and beating some other stuff.

  14. Little Lamb of God said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I would like to make a comment in reference to “Kettering, which is famous for absolutely nothing at all, or Wellingborough, which is famous for being nowhere near where you’re going”. Coming from Ealing but now living in Northamptonshire I feel I must add that although most people living in Wellingborough and surrounding areas know that the towns are not that great but the countryside and villages are lovely. Furthermore Kettering is famous for Faryl Smith and Wellingborough is Famous for the Waendel Walk and for being right next to that Car venue now what’s it’s name? Oh yes SANTA POD. With Rockingham Speedway being a bit further up the road.

  15. PetrolHead247 said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to comment Report comment

    To Paul (7): Yes i have driven the new Type-R and on the road near where i live the ride comfort isn’t actually as bad as Clarkson put. But when i took one on a local B-Road it didn’t quite handle right. It did feel like a hot hatch but like a heavy one. The steering in my mind was a little too heavy and i got a little too much understeer as well.

    But it’s quite entertaining on motorways. You cruise the middle lane at around 65mph, then move into the fast lane and floor it and let the revs keep building up and up. I was interested in trading my old Type-R in for a nearly new Type-R GT version but i didn’t and i’ve still got my old Type-R, and i love it.

  16. PetrolHead247 said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm Link to comment Report comment

    To TheM (8): Yes the new Type-R can be very entertaining but i find the old Type-R makes me smile just a little more. Don’t get me wrong i love hot hatches and the new Type-R is a pretty good one, but i feel the old Type-R is slightly better.

  17. Mikeado said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 3:26 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Mugen over here, hasn’t that happened already with the EK Civic of the late ’90s? It was probably a tie-in with Jordan F1, but I distinctly remember a yellow Civic R with the wasp logo under the side repeater at a British Motor Show.

    If the current Civic Type-R is too heavy, then making a racy lightweight version must be a good thing. But £35,000? You could professionally race-tune your own Civic for that much or less, surely? That, along with very limited production, is starting to make it sound like some kind of a Honda Mugen Civic GT-R SpecV.

    I think to justify that price, it’d need to be on par with, or better than, the RenaultSport Clio V6. A tall order for a four-pot FF hatchback. It could be, though. If anyone knows about tuning cars porperly, it’s the Japanese.

  18. Matt said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It’s far too expensive for what it is. Just like the Spec-V GTR this is an incredibly bad value over-priced variation bought because of the kudos and because no one else will have one. The image basically, which is a bit sad really considering £35K is about two thids of an R35-GTR or an Audi RS4! Or a whole EVO X/Impreza Sti. :) Why make it a Mugen as well when they’re are so many cheaper alternatives from the past like the DC5 integra, and Civic Type RR saloon? Still at least they’re bothering, and no doubt some Mugen inspired bits will make it onto the standard Civic Type-R the following year to give it 207bhp like the JDM version, and compete with the lowest powered large hot hatch, Golf GTI.

  19. Slickrubber said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Mugen is an excellent Car tuner, its Hondas House-Brand.They got their own university,for gods sake.I am pretty sure a guy with Glass bones, like Jezza would simply break apart in this car, but i bet,the white-helmed thing will be very pleased with it.I like the jap cars, if they go mental. And this one, most definitly will.Remember Ford Escort Cosworth?Rare, Expensive,insane insurance costs? but none the less Legendary stuff. We havent driven this one yet. But they aim for a similar spot.;)

  20. Slickrubber said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 6:41 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Oh, i forgot, i really like the look of the new Civic Type-R, but that heckspoiler spoils it. (the rearview is really bad)But Japan needs a really silly hot hatch. And Honda pulled that off already.they know how to do it, they just have to get the rear suspension right, and lose some extra weight.Then, this thing will go, as quick as it looks.

  21. love bandit said...
    Thursday June 18, 2009 at 7:06 pm Link to comment Report comment

    trouble is if u wanna race your honda, why go to mugen ? and if you don’t why buy THIS mugen ? for 35k you can actually get a proper car.. not some tuned to death lowbeat chav mobile.. but hey if you want one.. well you can’t have one coz they’re only gonna make a hundred hahahahaha what a laugh :D love it !!!

  22. Chris Roland said...
    Friday June 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I agree, this looks like THE chav-mobile extraordinaire… ripe for ‘pimping’, ie adding lights on the bottom and ludicrous hub-caps. Honestly, this looks pretty rubbish, and appeals to a rather select market.

  23. Matt said...
    Friday June 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I know it’ll probably be faster than any other front wheel drive car around a track but seriously it’s not worth the money. The Megane R26R and Ford Focus RS are 10K less!

  24. love bandit said...
    Friday June 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm Link to comment Report comment

    on the focus rs and types.. 15k will grant you a 5 year old e46 m3 with 330+ horses prancing to your right toe, smg paddles tickling the tingle in your fingertips, rwd to snap your neck catching the slides and that mezmerising bluewhite prop to put the shine back in your eyes on a rainy day.. and that’s 10k less than a what is essentially a focus on speed.. and you can even opt for one that isn’t blue or orange :D

  25. The El Man said...
    Friday June 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Mugen RR for JDM is epic. Check the fifth gear video on youtube where plato races it against an s2000. Then for comparison VBH races the stock JDM Type R vs the UK one. So the far quicker JDM, is slow compared to the RR. So if the UK Mugen is liked the RR (chances are its the same 237bhp engine), it will own. Will be such an amzing car to drive.

    Did anyone ever see the EK9 JUN Civic. 1.6 NA with 260bhp. Now thats a tuner car!

  26. love bandit said...
    Friday June 19, 2009 at 10:24 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I know which one I’d put money on..

  27. love bandit said...
    Friday June 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    for coke bottle sized engines.. fun is more like the brabus smart roadster coupe 698cc twin turbo 121bhp..0.60 in around 3 seconds.. rwd :D yours for 7k !!! so jdm, mugen rr type r ..Y ?? puffff

  28. Danielo said...
    Saturday June 20, 2009 at 10:02 am Link to comment Report comment

    Mam pytanie kiedy Top Gear odwiedzi Polske

  29. Brawn 4 ever said...
    Saturday June 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Scirocco R will still be better lookin

  30. 1martin1991 said...
    Sunday June 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i have got the previous model mugen honda civic type-R in red and it’s ace! One of the best cars i’ve had, So this new model should be even better!

  31. DriftKing18594 said...
    Monday June 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Over here in Ireland, your average Civic driver is a lot like your chavs (we call them skangers). I dunno why nobody can make a RWD hot hatch! What’s wrong with RWD? RWD is more fun than FWD, and once a FWD car gets more than 300hp, it’s like an American muscle car – shite around corners. What’s so great about FWD? Nothing. Sure, it’s cheaper than RWD – and they definitely feel cheaper. If I was Prime Minister (which I’d never be ‘cos I’m Irish) I’d pass a law saying that all cars must be RWD or 4WD (which means no more Kia…mwah hah hah). But that’s only fantasy. I have no interest whatsoever in hot hatches. Only somebody like Vicky Pollard would buy the Mugen Civic Type R.

  32. fullon-tuners said...
    Monday June 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Omg! why don’t you just go back to classic civics, type r intergeta and awesome tuners… let a child have its new dream car…

  33. Dino said...
    Monday June 22, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to comment Report comment

    In my opinion the Civic Type R is a good car, fairly quick, excellently reliable along with superb handling. However, just under 200BHP is not fantastic power in a hot hatch, especially in a Japanese hot hatch. Increasing the power between 240-260BHP is what the car should be kicking out in standard form to be anywhere breathtaking as what the comments are about the Civic Type R. In my opinion, the Japanese cars with ‘R’ at the end, highlighted they were not standard and always put a smile on your face. Arguably, the Civic Type R achieves this when you first drive the car, but the feeling soon wears off. To give you an idea of what I am trying to say, in my opinion the Type R is for the niche market, petrol heads which enjoy driving fast, take driving seriously where looks mean a lot or something along those lines. Similarly, my friend has fitted a standard Civic Type R engine in an M reg mini. Now this is something which the Type R should be compared to, but for me the standard Civic Type R is too tame. Yes, it revs high but so does a Yamaha DT50. I guess what I am trying to say is The Civic Type R, just needs that little bit extra to give it the GRRR factor!!

  34. Frustrated said...
    Tuesday June 23, 2009 at 2:40 am Link to comment Report comment

    Why the hell are all the backstage videos all restricted to people across the pond? WTF?

  35. Midas said...
    Tuesday June 23, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to comment Report comment

    I would like to second that last…

  36. Macca said...
    Tuesday June 23, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to comment Report comment

    Agree. Anyone able to explain?

  37. TOP GEAR FRIEND said...
    Tuesday June 23, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to comment Report comment

    can you send video top gear in Malaysia !!!!
    tv media Malaysia don’t open show TOP GEAR !!!!!
    PLEASE OPEN SHOW IN MALAYSIA……….

  38. mzd66 said...
    Tuesday June 23, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to comment Report comment

    I´m sorre but joust last week I put up my jetta to it´s tops, and it gave me 232km/h on a straight road(quretaro-san m de alllende), so I will challange any cupe to match my super 2002 2l jetta, to any cupe you may set up for me, THIS IS A CHALLNGE!!! My jetta is not altered in any way, as it´s a custom and well cared for…. so If you want a good of challenge and a good time post me! I love TOP GEAR!!!
    I dont hawe a lot of money to keep up, but if it´s cool with you I´ll take you on ANY of you any time in my 2l jetta! I wait for your challenge!! On the challange, jeremy! I´m waiting for you in mexico! best of luck, and please don´t get killed with all the experiments you´r up to. keep your helmet on, and hold on to your behind! let´s race some real cars!!!

  39. jolly roger said...
    Tuesday June 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @38 dude, wtf have you been smoking ???

  40. bushmann said...
    Tuesday June 23, 2009 at 9:33 pm Link to comment Report comment

    ..yet an other victim of the ..swineflu :D:D haaaaaaaa hahahaha, the virus has evolved into a jetta driving mutant.. god save us all !!!!

  41. KarMa said...
    Wednesday June 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to comment Report comment

    by the looks of the a-b test between new civic vs old civic the type-R asked mugen for a diet + steroids by itself :)

    It could have been a substantially cheaper one, maybe suspensions + bigger alloys + a handful of horses could be quite fun and way less purse-heavy, I suppose it needs something in between this version and the stock one.
    I mean, I’m sure this is way cool to drive, but it’s also 135i Motorsport money

  42. m radi said...
    Thursday June 25, 2009 at 3:53 am Link to comment Report comment

    cute……
    menarik…….

  43. WellOiled said...
    Thursday June 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to comment Report comment

    This will be coveted in years to come like the old Jordan is now. I rarely see one of those yellow beasts nowadays, but when I do, it puts a smile on my face. Considering Mugen don’t really have a commercial presence in the UK, I think this car will be a great entry point as they come to set up shop. It’s not like they’d take any other car to tune up, as the old CTR and S2000 has ceased production. However, they might have been able to get their hands on some of the last 100 special edition S2000s. That would have be nice.

  44. StimMampus said...
    Saturday June 27, 2009 at 6:44 am Link to comment Report comment

  45. Anonymous said...
    Friday July 10, 2009 at 7:46 pm Link to comment Report comment

    what a machine!!! perfect for the price…i´m whaiting this on portugal….i´m sure this will make guys like my very happy….lool

  46. Gunnergav said...
    Sunday July 12, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to comment Report comment

    For £35,000 it better have IRS!

  47. karlperci said...
    Friday July 17, 2009 at 1:25 am Link to comment Report comment

    love the look of this car, however, the integra does it for me! honda cars all round realy, i own a hrv v reg, 1.6 16v none vtec and it goes like sh** for what it is, put it this way it keeps with a 2.0 mondeo of the lights! anyway back to honda, i posted about the new RS and megane and asked to put them up against a honda of the same type as i think the rs and megane are over rated for the money! plus unless it says cosworth then forget ford!(apart from rs200/mark2 escort) and the othe car is french and made up of icecream van cones for windows!!

  48. stig = ben collins said...
    Tuesday July 21, 2009 at 8:30 am Link to comment Report comment

    it looks good in white but j.clarkson said the old honda civic is better than it they done a drag race,looked in the interior and the normal stuff they do.it looks way better than the old one and the jazz apart from the spoiler on the back.

  49. Finny irl said...
    Tuesday July 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Its a nice car but wit few numbers and highly priced…..don’t think you’ll be seeing much of them at all!!!!

  50. Julie said...
    Thursday August 13, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to comment Report comment

    It makes sense for Honda to manufacture this type of labour intensive/customisable car right now, when business is slow. It gives people something interesting to do and pays for itself. Let’s hope that the car turns out well and that people want to buy it.

  51. lukeage9 said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I have always thought that Honda Civics look like 1980′s spaceships but I hated them because they didn’t perform (exept from the Type R.) A Mini Cooper S had equal top speed. But 250bhp sounds nice and looks like a hell of a performer.:-)))

  52. lukeage9 said...
    Wednesday August 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to comment Report comment

    DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! DOOM!
    I SPY THE HYBRID VERSION!!!!! :-( LOOKS HIDEOUS! :-(

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