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Old 06-16-2009, 11:26 AM
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Default StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

From Nissan Skylines and GT-Rs with stunning levels of power, grip and performance... to RX7s modified so thoroughly and flawlessly, you could barely identify what they were....there was no shortage of impressive cars at Tokyo Auto Salon. But after days of roaming the show floor, there was one car in particular that resonated with me as the most impressive of all of them there.

Unlike the GT-Rs, RX-7s, and NSXs, this car does not come from supercar killing roots. It hails from the opposite end of the spectrum. It started life as something that would normally be a car for the average commuter but instead was transformed into something else entirely... via one of the most innovative, thorough, and inspiring approaches to tuning, this car was built into something that can stand on its own in the presence of any company.

The car I'm talking about is the Honda Civic Mugen RR Advanced.

Let me start by saying I'm not the biggest Civic person. But, I've always liked Mugen's work and Honda's commitment to efficient sports vehicles. It was the S2000 that first made me seriously consider what the brand was up to. Then after digging, learning about the B series, K series, F series, and Honda's history in MotorSports, I started to realize how seriously the company should be taken -- even if it's engines were small and all their cars relatively affordable. The key realization? Sports cars are about performance sure, but performance is nothing without enjoyment. And Honda knows a thing or two about building a fun sports car.

When you add Mugen to that... the end results are impressive, to say the least. Where do we begin?

Lets start with the Honda Civic Type-R.



The Civic Type-R takes the Civic's K20A motor to 225hp @ 8,400rpm and 142lbft @ 5,600rpm. This power is routed through a close ratio six speed transmission and a helical limited slip differential before hitting the road via custom made 225/40R18 Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires.

Honda says this chassis is 50% more rigid than the previous DC 5 generation Integra Type R. Braking is accomplished via four piston Brembo calipers. The suspension, of course, was fully retuned.

Then Mugen came along.



On their first attempt, they didn't do a whole lot- with only a larger intake and exhaust, very little power was added or weight lost. Most performance gains came from handling via new brake pads, lines, suspension, and wheel modifications. They also fitted what amounts to a new body kit and some sports seats.

But then they went and made the Civic RR.



Weighing in at 2,733lbs, the RR is down 22lbs from the ordinary Civic Type-R. The car is 15hp more powerful, with output at 240hp @ 8,000rpm. But that's only the beginning of what was done. Besides gorgeous body work, the RR saw a new suspension setup, new braking system, wheels, and extensive interior work.



At the same time, they started to share their performance data, with an interesting 1minute 6 second lap at Tsukuba. To put that into perspective from some sample unofficial times of some other cars:

Porsche 997 Turbo 1 min 04.730 secs
Murcielago 1 min 04.760 secs
EVO IX RS 1 min 05.528 secs
997 Carrera 4 1 min 05.980 secs
Corvette Z06 1 min 06.020 secs
Lancer Evo IX 1 min 06.060 secs
NA1 NSX-R 1 min 06.198 secs
Nismo GT-R S Tune 1 min 06.232 secs (340 bhp)
Ferrari F40 1 min 06.460 secs
WRX STI SPEC-C 1 min 06.651 secs ( Current STI)
NA1 NSX-R 1 min 06.80 secs (same race as F40)
BMW M5 1 min 06.560 secs
Civic Mugen RR 1 min 06.78 secs
STI S204 1 min 06.800 secs
BMW M6 1 min 07.434 secs
350Z S Version 1 min 08.110 secs
Mazda RX-7 1 min 08.70 secs
RX-8 A Spec 1 min 09.430 secs
Nissan 300ZX 1 min 10.70 secs

Most interesting indeed.



But then they fell silent... for over a year, until the 2009 Tokyo Auto Salon, where they presented this, the Mugen RR Advanced.



What's new? What makes this so special in a field of other great cars?

Let's start with the basics.

Mugen's aim was to make a car that handled better and was faster on the track while at the same time not sacrificing enjoyability. That meant they couldn't just cage it and strap on some turbos. They had to make it friendly to street, but still quicker- despite it being front wheel drive. It would seem something difficult or impossible to do. Some would think the idea might even be pointless... why bother with a wrong wheel drive?

Mugen cast aside any such doubts and rose to the challenge.

They started with the K20A and and enlarged its bore by 1mm and stroke by 4.7mm to achieve 2,157cc.



Lightweight pistons were employed, increasing their piston speed to 83.3 feet per second (vs the Type-R's 79ft/sec) at redline and putting it near the top of all engines currently being produced for road cars. The result? 260hp from 2.2 liters.

















These modifications not only improved engine output but also made the engine - and its internals- lighter to the tune of 3.3lbs. That's a lot of weight shed when most of it is moving back and fourth at 83 feet a second. That makes the engine more responsive, easier to rev higher and therefore- more fun.

That was only the beginning.

The intake manifold and air filter were made lighter by 4.4lbs. The exhaust? All titanium and now 32.8lbs lighter. The suspension? Titanium springs shedding 5.8lbs.



Then there's the unsprung weight:

New calipers and braking system components shed over 10lbs off the brakes alone. The new wheels are about 23lbs lighter.





On the inside, new seats shed 54lbs off the interior.



At this point, Mugen was doing well and most would have probably stopped. But this is where they started to get truly innovative and this is where the RR Advanced comes into a world of its own in the tuning game.

Mugen reinforced the chassis of the RR Advanced by using stress bearing Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer technology on the body.



In plain English, instead of welding in a heavy cage (that would make the car unstreetable), they took carbon fiber and used in such a way that it made the chassis stronger...without compromising comfort or streetability. Then they replaced everything else that they could with carbon:

The results:
-14lbs saved on the hood
-70lbs saved on the front doors
-65lbs saved on the rear doors
-6.4lbs saved on the front fender and rear wing
-14.3lbs saved in the roof
-19.8lbs saved off the trunk
-7.1 lbs saved off the rear bumper & diffuser

They even managed to save 7lbs in the rear glass section.



























So what did this do to the total weight?

Whereas the normal Type-R, as mentioned above, already weighs only 2,800lbs... and the Mugen RR weighs 2,766lbs...

The RR Advanced weighs 2,414 lbs.

Few tuners would have gone so far. Mugen went further, landing the field goal by going back to Bridgestone, and having the Civic Type-R's RE070 tires modified with a different compound to match up with their lighter weight.

The performance results?

Whereas the Type-R Achieved 1:07"494 and the RR achieved 1:06"688 at Tsukuba...



The RR Advanced achieved 1:04"906



Specific numbers aside, a seemingly ordinary car was turned into something many times greater -in all aspects- than it was... with essentially no sacrifice. If anything, with the lighter weight it might even be more efficient on its consumables during ordinary driving. Combine that with the innovative ways Mugen went about achieving its performance, the excitement that the finished product inspires, and the fact that the modified supercar killers could all benefit from this approach.... and it was an easy pick for the most impressive car of the show.

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Old 06-16-2009, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

WOW...!
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

i new it didin't here u say nuttin bout the civic should have known. Honda bwoys dem will be pleased nuff respect
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

ANOTHER! overated car on the market! well it mean more food for both my cars. sorry if no one like what i said, but its true. they did the same thing with the S2k and what happened when they came out! they started doing 2jz swaps on them LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
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Old 06-16-2009, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

Oh boy..... A civic...
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3tc power View Post
ANOTHER! overated car on the market! well it mean more food for both my cars. sorry if no one like what i said, but its true. they did the same thing with the S2k and what happened when they came out! they started doing 2jz swaps on them LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
well would you keep a 4 cylinder or a straight 6 in a chassis that is more than able to bolt in or weld into an engine bay...lol yeah thought so..supras are heavy so you need that serious HP but a 600hp 2jz in a S2K...holyshit thats gona be a serious contender....as for chassis bracing...they do this already but its cool how it comes with the car already and that its carbon fiber..most under car in car chassis braces are steel...with the amount of chassis braces out there for cars the only reason to get a roll cage is if you flip the bitch...
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

Nice
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

NIce.. Needs boost..
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

^^^ and you already see what boost does to a K20 motor...wonder how this goes on..but with 2.2L I wonder if they went with high compression pistons in the bay...
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: StreetSeen in Japan | 8. TAS's Most Impressive Car

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Originally Posted by VIZuki View Post
^^^ and you already see what boost does to a K20 motor...wonder how this goes on..but with 2.2L I wonder if they went with high compression pistons in the bay...
same thing it does to the B-series and the H-series motor. k is all hype till this day the fastest all motor honda runs a B-series in it.

damn here i go with the hating again, damn i need to stop drinking all dat haterade
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