Ahh yes, Mugen, the biggest name in Honda tuning. To many there is no brand more easily recognizable yet so mysterious. With a history running parallel to Honda and a passion for speed it's hard not fall in love with the brand. Although often criticized for no longer participating in motorsports the way they did in years gone by, they still have a trick or two up their sleeves - and they unleashed their tuning abilities in this FD2 Type R dubbed "Mugen RR Advanced."
While this car may seem vaguely familiar, as we featured a more primitive version of the vehicle last year in our April "Honda Issue", it has undergone a gamut of new modifications in pursuit of faster lap times. While at first the obvious stares you in the face as it did when it put me into near sock at TAS - it appears that nearly the entire vehicle has been reconstructed using carbon-fiber. Once I was able to close my jaw I knew what I had to do... go to M-TEC's headquarters in Saitama, Japan to get a closer look.
The original RR build was by no means a slouch - shaving off nearly a second at Tsukuba from what the geniuses at Honda had originally crafted into the FD2. But for Mugen the "dream never ends" and thus further development of the Civic was carried out. Once we arrived at M-TEC we got a crash course on all of the new components, some of which were obvious, and others which were completely hidden beneath their new carbon-fiber cloak.
But before we skip past the carbon we should talk a bit about the pieces, because there are a lot of them. The hood, front bumper, rear bumper, side skirts, fenders, doors, door liners, wing, trunk and even the entire roof - skeleton and all - were replaced, resulting in a net loss of 385lbs! Not only do the parts look absolutely badass but they also drastically improve the aerodynamics of the chassis. We couldn't help but notice the styling cues taken from Porsche in the form of the front bumper vents and trick LED foglights. But on top of the weight reduction, other parts were added for rigidity, such as the door reinforcements which strengthen the chassis to 110%+ over factory.
Now that we got most of the carbon out of our system, we can move over to everyone's favorite carbon-fiber sidekick - titanium. Sparing no expense Mugen fabbed up more custom parts for the vehicle out of Ti, including a 4-2-1 header, complete exhaust system and springs for the suspension. For you tech geeks out there, you know who you are, you are probably impressed by the attention Mugen paid to lowering the spring's contribution to unsprung weight. For the rest of you, Mugen sums it up in a nutshell "it is said that weight-saving under the suspension [is] 10 to 15 times as effective as that [above] the suspension. 13kg (28 lbs) weight-saving owing to titanium springs and forged wheels can make drivers feel drastic reduction of inertia moment beyond [the actual] numerical effect. Soft and high dimensionally well-balanced sports capability takes drivers to another dimensional world." Or in other words, it's like an acid trip for your car.
But don't think everything on this car is just for flashy curb appeal - great lengths were taken to ensure the engine internals were performing optimally. To begin with, the bore was increased by 1mm and the motor was then stroked 4.7mm, lending to the final displacement of 2157. Custom lightweight pistons were machined, allowing for a piston speed increase for faster revs. Once everything was reassembled the engine now puts out 260PS, a 20 PS gain over stock.