DRIVEN: Honda Civic Type R Mugen Review
Here is Motor Verso’s first drive review of the Honda Civic Type R Mugen edition.
What’s the Honda Civic Type R Mugen all About?
The Honda Civic Type R Mugen is a limited edition version of the already brilliant FN2 Honda Civic Type R.
The Mugen is powered by the same 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine as the Type R but has been tweaked to put out 240bhp meaning it will now do 0-60mph in 6.0 seconds and will do a top speed of 150mph. These performance figures are remarkable for a front wheel drive car.
For those of you that haven’t experienced an i-VTEC engine before, the beauty of them is that they have two cam profiles to create both the best power and performance figures at both low and high rpm. When the profiles change over you can hear and feel the change over, which provides a great extra boost of power.
Turning on the car you will notice the difference in exhaust note the moment it switches on, it sparks a moment of excitement in the driver as the car idles. Moving off in the Mugen Type R the car instantly feels a bit stiffer, and when you get it on an open road and hit the throttle you are well aware that you are in a super tuned Type R. Winding the car up to 6,200rpm is when the VTEC kicks in and you can hear the exhaust note change. With the VTEC engaged you can instantly feel the additional power pulling the car forward like a train.
Anyone that has driven a red-badged Honda before will know that they are all about the ultra high rev limiters. The Mugen edition absolutely screams all the way up to the rev limit, an insane 8,6000rpm. This is a unique experience you just can’t get enough of.
Besides the engine performance, the handing and braking characteristics are also market leading in the hot hatch arena. The controls are that finely balanced that as the driver you have huge amounts of confidence to push the screaming Mugen Type R to the limits every chance you get.
What’s it like inside?
Inside there isn’t much different from the standard Type R, apart from a few small touches. There is a selection of additional gauges showing water temperature, engine oil temperature and engine oil pressure…not that you really need these gauges, but they do give you a sense that you are in a road going race car.
Around the rest of the interior there are a few additional Mugen badges, but overall there was nothing wrong with the standard Type R interior so I’m quite glad to see they haven’t changed it too much.
Most car enthusiasts love the standard Honda Civic Type R, as it is a great car. Honda took that great car and decided to harden it up a little and give it more power. And thankfully this did improve the experience.
The Mugen edition improves the Type R experience by 200% and really the only way to describe this car is as a hooligan, the harshness and speed of the car is just brutal. They have created a machine that really brings out the petrol head in you. With the i-VTEC engine, you end up driving it like it’s a game to keep that engine screaming over the i-VTEC threshold and then keep going all the way up to that 8,600rpm redline. All it wants you to do is explore its power, and go faster and faster.
The Honda Civic Type R Mugen edition will only be produced in a limited run of cars, which will go down in cult history. What Honda have done with the standard Type R front wheel drive and the i-VTEC engine would have been considered impossible years ago and has really led the market in hot hatch cars for the past few years, the Mugen edition is really the icing on the cake, it’s well rounded, highly exclusive and the most hard-core front wheel drive racer of its time.
- Price: £38,599
- Engine: 2.0-Litre i-VTEC
- Power: 240bhp
- Torque: 213Nm
- Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 6.0 Seconds
- Top speed: 150mph
- Weight: 1,233kg
- Economy combined: 30mpg
Author: Paul Hadley