Honda CR-Z Mugen can realistically lay claim to being the world’s first supercharged hybrid car.
Honda has recently given us a few tantalizing details of the car and it looks like the production car will be truly amazing.
The CR-Z hybrid coupe is already one of the world’s sportiest and best-performing hybrids. It’s currently the only one with a manual gearbox rather than CVT. This may not be to everyone’s tastes, but you can’t have a true sports model without a stick shift for many of us.
It’s also one of the best-looking cars on the planet with a uniquely sleek design that followed from fellow Honda concept hybrid cars; the Honda Remix and the Small Hybrid Sports.
The world got its first glimpse of the CR-Z back in 2007 at the Tokyo Motor Show. Honda seems to save up its best for its major home market bi-annual show. The 2011 event was no different. Amongst other vehicles, Honda showed off its ‘Micro Commuter Concept car’ – an all-electric rapid recharge tiny car with a range of just 37 miles and a top speed of 37 miles per hour to match!
But for those of us who still enjoy a little speed and the CR-Z – which stands for ‘Compact Renaissance Zero’- really has it.
The car was designed to be “sporty, efficient and inexpensive” and it is. Clearly, though, Honda think it can be a lot sportier still – hence the Mugen concept. Mugen is an England-based super tuning company that has teamed up with Honda to produce the supercharged CR-Z Mugen prototype.
Honda says it hopes the new car will be ‘fun’ – and that it will demonstrate the real potential of hybrid technology. The new version costs around £23,000 and is going on sale from February this year in the UK.
The new car offers 197bhp and keeps the same 1.5-litre hybrid unit as its standard sibling – but it also gets a supercharger, re-mapped ECU, wider tracks, stiffer springs and a much cooler design. This is the future.
Honda CR-Z Mugen – The supercharged hybrid