2011 Honda CR-Z MUGEN Limited Edition -- a DIY hybrid hauler
Top draw among the dozen vehicles it is displaying at this week's SEMA Show, the 2011 Honda CR-Z MUGEN Limited Edition will be available starting next spring through its dealers, albeit only in kit form. Honda's domestic in-house tuner will produce only 300 complete kits for the U.S market and each will come with a unique numbered plaque that indicates its authenticity. The MUGEN makeover bits include a full seven-piece color-matched body kit, unique black mesh grille insert, a rear wing spoiler and 17-inch "XJ" alloy wheels. An aluminum billet oil cap, custom floor mats and a distinctive black aluminum shift knob complete the MUGEN component mix. Pricing for the 2011 Honda CR-Z MUGEN Limited Edition kit will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
For those who wish Honda would offer a version of the CR-Z Hybrid with a bit more muscle, Honda Performance Development, the automaker’s North American racing operation, is showcasing the HPD CR-Z Hybrid R Concept and CZ-R Racer. Sadly neither is currently slated for production -- although we can always hope. Both cars share a more potent turbocharged version of the 1.5-liter four-cyinder engine and an upgraded IMA hybrid setup that combine to yield 200 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Also on hand is a heavy-duty performance clutch, limited-slip differential, bigger brakes and a “circuit-tuned” suspension as well as additional wind-cheating bodywork. HPD plans to enter a pair of its prototype CR-Z Racers in the annual 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance event that will take place next month at Thunderhill Raceway, in Willows, California.