Honda brings Mugen name to U.S.
Photo credit: A.J. MUELLER
The limited-edition Mugen Civic Si sedan will debut next spring. It is a more extreme version of the Civic Si performance sedan that went on sale Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Mugen Co. is a maker of race car engines and auto parts, and has close ties to Honda. It long has provided performance parts for Honda vehicles in Asia. But Honda has never put the name on a vehicle sold in the United States, John Mendel, American Honda's senior vice president, said at the SEMA show here.
Hirotoshi Honda, the son of Honda founder Soichiro Honda, set up Mugen in 1973. Honda Motor once owned a stake in Mugen but later sold it back.
Mendel says the timing is right for bringing Mugen to America.
"We know this (Mugen) will sell," Mendel said. "It will be assembled and have a warranty by Honda, similar to the high-performance AMG vehicles by Mercedes. The Mugen Si sedan elevates the already impressive Si sedan into new performance territory."
The Mugen will be powered by the same 197-hp, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine as the Si sedan and coupe models. It will also have the same six-speed manual transmission.
Most of the changes relate to the suspension and aerodynamics.
The Mugen is 0.6 inches lower and 1.1 inches longer than the stock Si sedan. The 16.7 pound aluminum wheels are 27 percent lighter than the alloy wheels on the regular Si sedan.
The Mugen also has a front spoiler with a sports grille bearing the Mugen Si emblem, side spoilers and a rear wing.
The company plans to produce only 500 units. The model will sell for less than $30,000. The base price of the Si sedan is $21,895, including the $595 destination charge.
Mendel would not say if the company plans to put the Mugen name on other Honda vehicles. He said the car will be assembled at a Honda plant in either the United States or Canada.
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