New Mugen edition Honda Civic Type Rs won't win beauty contests
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Attacking the new-generation Honda Civic Type R is the lowest of low-hanging fruit in motoring journalism. For what it's worth, I'm happy to concede that it's a rather absurd looking thing — but not at the expense of what a stunning performance car it is.
But it's difficult to extend the same sympathy to Mugen's harder/faster version of the FK8-generation Type R.
The Japanese tuning company, who have long specialised in making fast Hondas even faster, revealed their 'RC20GT Type R Concept last year to a mixed reception. Now, they've whipped out a slightly revised RC20GT at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon — with the concept moniker replaced with 'pre-production model'.
Somewhat concerningly the changes Mugen report to have made don't necessarily make it look any more palatable. New graphics and the different taillights are among the few discernible visual changes.
The front still leads on with a Hannibal Lecter, Audi-esque grill. The rear still juts out with the squared-off look of something from a Super GT car. Two-tone surface finishes see gloss black juxtaposed against untouched pure carbon fibre.
And all of this is on a backdrop of intricate watch-out-or you'll-cut-your-ankles-on-this wings and vents.
Read more: We thrash the new Honda Civic Type R
In terms of performance, Mugen claim that this revised-for-2019 RC20GT has a better mixture of aero for track usage and cooling. They also cite improved power output, but no numbers have been sourced. For reference, the standard Type R comes with 228kW of power and 400Nm of torque.
This wouldn't be the first 'Mugenified' Type R, if it did happen to make it into production. Back in 2008 they released the Mugen RR — a more powerful limited-edition of the FD2 Civic Type R sedan. Just 300 were made, and urban myth says that all of them were sold out less than an hour after they officially went on sale.
But while the RC20GT is still a weird looking pie-in-the-sky, what we're more likely to actually imported onto our shores is this; the much more tasteful but still extreme Mugen Civic Type R Prototype.
Pictured above in white, the kit scores the same rear wing, wheels, and wing-mirrors as the RC20GT. These are combined with a deeper set of front and rear bumpers and side skirts. The rear bumper is particularly noteworthy, featuring a pretty aggressive extended diffuser (how much it actually improves aerodynamics is up for debate).
It remains conceptual, but the potential to be offered as an aftermarket option (at the very least) for current Type R owners is high. Mugen's aftermarket parts for other Hondas have been a license to print money. It would be a big surprise if, for the only Civic Type R truly available worldwide, they didn't jump on the hype train.