Fantastic news! Mugen Motorsports, the tuning division at Honda, have confirmed that the rumours are true and they are going to build a special version of the Civic Type R. Stripped out and boasting a tuned 2.0-litre VTEC engine, the Mugen Civic Type R will offer 240bhp and will take the fight to the European hot hatch makers.
Ever since turbo-charging became the norm the 198bhp Civic Type R has been left behind in the power race. The low torque and high revving nature of Honda’s VTEC engines can make them seem quite weedy when compared to a torque-rich turbocharged engine, and not everyone wants to be constantly pushing their engine all the way round to the 8,000rpm redline to get the most out of it (although personally I’d quite enjoy that).
To go with the handy power increase, Mugen are stripping out the back seats and installing Recaro bucket seats in the front, and you can expect a scattering of carbon fibre bits too. This will pitch the Mugen in direct competition with the fantastic 230bhp Renaultsport Megane R26.R, a lightweight version of the French hatch that has been posting track times that are embarrassing the more powerful Ford Focus RS.
As well as uprated springs, brakes and tyres there will be an aggressive-looking Mugen bodykit. Big spoiler at the rear, large rear twin exhausts that replace the standard triangular items, and chunky extensions to the sills and front bumper.
If Mugen can match the handling prowess of the £20k R26.R they could be onto a winner, but if the predicted price of £35k turns out to be true they could struggle to sell any at all.