It's a source of much annoyance to British hot hatchback lovers that Japan has its very own Honda Civic Type R; a very cool four-door Civic with brilliant 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine pumping out a hard edged 225bhp - a fair old portion more power than the Brit Type-R produces.For Mugen, longtime champion Honda tuner in Japan, however, that’s not enough. Enter this Honda Civic Mugen RR, just launched in Tokyo, that pushes the whole Type R package up to the next level. With its unique engine, suspension, brakes, body kit, aero package, wheels, tyres and sports interior, this Civic RR is the culmination of a dream for Mugen: to produce its own uniquely developed car, just as AMG does for Mercedes and Alpina for BMW. Each car will be hand built to order starting from this September, and sold through official Honda dealers. The plan is to do a limited run of 300 units. It’s the first time Mugen or Honda has ever attempted a joint programme like this.
The starting point, today’s critically acclaimed Japanese Civic Type R, is already well on the pace but the wizards at Mugen have breathed on the engine to crank up output by 15bhp to an amazing 237bhp at 8000rpm – still with natural aspiration, of course.There's a whole new induction system, a new high efficiency exhaust manifold and dual exhaust system also bolted on. Harder chassis spring rates, adjustable sports dampers and lightweight alloy wheels shod with unique Bridgestone Potenza RE070 RR tyres are also included.The RR sits down 10mm lower than the standard Type-R and, through the use of carbon composite and aluminum materials, it weighs 15 kilograms less than normal at a trim 1240 kgs.Designed for the track as well as the road, the RR offers semi-bucket seats developed with Recaro, and a unique short throw gearlever for the six-speed, close ratio box.
...and the not-so-bad news
This Honda Civic Mugen RR, which was coyly previewed back at January’s Tokyo tuner show as the Mugen ‘Road to Racing’ concept, has hit the market for the equivalent of £19,495. That might sound good value to us, but it's quite an ask for Japanese buyers, considering the base 222bhp Type R costs only £11,571 in Tokyo.