If there's one thing that Mugen has always done right, it's honda. Mention that one word in any conversation when you're discussing the intricacies of honda performance and you get the proverbial nodding of heads in unison. They are a pairing that is as timeless as bread and butter, Luke and the Force, nigo and Pharrell, so on and so forth. Mugen doesn't just take the good and make it better; well, they do, but it's a tradition of theirs-a skill, so to speak-of executing a finely tuned vehicle and having a keen understanding of how good a honda is from the factory before they decide on which areas they feel need improvement.
Take this very special Civic Type-R, for example, or as Mugen has renamed it, Mugen RR [pronounced "moogen (not moo-jen) double R"]. It's a very limited edition CTR that you can order only through Mugen that comes with equipment developed by Mugen. As cool as the US edition Mugen Si is, sadly it just can't compare to the JDM version. The K20A in this chassis pushes out 240 ps (243 hp) at 8,000 rpm with 22.2kgm (160 lb-ft) at 7,000 rpm while a standard Civic Type-R does 225ps (228 hp) at 8,000 rpm with 21.9 kgm at 6,100 rpm (158 lb-ft). Mugen was able to extract more power out of the K20 by giving it new camshafts, stiffer valve springs, a ram air intake that comes straight from the front grille and into a larger capacity intake box, a 4-2-1 exhaust manifold, higher flowing catalytic converter and a dual exhaust system. Mugen RR also goes two seconds quicker around the Tsukuba circuit than the Civic Type-R with a lap time of 1:00.600.
The Mugen RR gets more than a faster engine. Mugen takes what was once a mild-mannered sedan and adds on a carbon composite front bumper and grille, a lighter aluminum hood, fog lights, side skirts, a carbon rear wing, rear under spoiler with a diffuser and even rear fog lights; they even repaint it a classic favorite honda color: Milano Red. Mugen also gives you a five-way adjustable suspension, 18-inch Mugen wheels with stickier Bridgestone tires, slotted rotors, stainless brake lines and carbon cooling ducts to help cool down the front brakes. All the other factory CTR components, like Brembo brakes and limited slip differential, remain untouched. Inside, Mugen provides you with carbon Recaro reclining seats, a new shifter and shift knob, as well as a Mugen instrument panel and meter gauges. Yep, the Mugen RR is the Mugen Civic we wish honda would sell here in the States.
Tetsu says, "The parts for Mugen RR are special parts for Japanese market. Mugen is not selling any Mugen RR parts for Civic Type-R now." This means you can't call a Mugen distributor for these parts, even if you've swapped the JDM front and rear end pieces onto your U.S. Civic; the only way you're going to get these is if you buy the hong Kong knock-offs or are one of the lucky 300 in Japan who can actually order one at nearly $50K USD. As if things couldn't get any worse, we should let you know now that the Mugen RR sold out in 10 minutes.
Faster Facts '08 Mugen Civic RR
The Sticker approximately $50K USD (4,777,500 yen)
Under The Hood 2.0L K20A DOHC I-VTEC; Mugen camshafts, valve springs, ram air intake, large capacity intake box, 4-2-1 exhaust manifold, high flow catalytic converter, straight-type silencer (middle), dual exhaust, carbon intake manifold cover
The Power 243 hp at 8,000 rpm; 160lb-ft at 7,000 rpm
Gearbox stock Civic Type-R helical limited slip differential
Stiff Stuff Mugen five-way adjustable suspension
Stoppers stock Civic Type-R Brembo calipers; Mugen slotted rotors (320mm front/282mm rear), brake lines and carbon air ducts for front brakes
Rollers 18-inch Mugen aluminum wheels; Bridgestone Potenza RE070 225/40R18 tires
Outside Mugen aluminum hood, carbon front bumper and grille, fog lights, side skirts, fender trim, carbon adjustable rear wing and gurney flap, rear under spoiler with air diffuser, rear fog lights and Milano Red paint
Inside Mugen edition carbon Recaro reclining seats, shifter, shift knob, tachometer, meter gauges (water temp, oil temp, oil pressure), sport pedals and foot rest
Deep Thoughts This is the ultimate Civic Type R; a dream come true. Too bad you'll have to wait until 2009 to buy the next one. The '08s are all sold out.