Mugen means unlimited in Japanese. It is a brand that is often thought of as tuning racecars and high-performance street machines. This time they have put their efforts into improving the aerodynamics of Honda’s latest hybrid. Mugen is once again showing off its close ties with Honda, the Insight went on sale in Japan last week.
Since hybrids are designed with fuel-economy in mind their body’s main purpose is to cut smoothly through the air and reduce drag, not win any car shows. The Mugen kit drastically improves the automobiles appearance and at the same time reduces lift. Both front and rear lower spoilers work in tandem with the side skirts to channel air around the body and not underneath it. Although the rear spoiler seems a little extreme it improves down force. The side mirrors were even designed to reduce turbulence when driving with a slightly opened window.
Of course, Mugen improved the handling as well. The suspension setup comes with a set of sports-tuned springs and damper that reduced ride height by 20mm. There are two different kinds of wheels in the package: the XJ is 16-inch mesh wheel and the NR a 15-inch, 8-spoker.
Mugen has also included a system called Intelligent Tire Condition Monitoring System (i-TCMS) which, besides measuring tire pressure, also displays tire temperature and will inform the driver when a tire has reached an undesirable condition.
The engine did not receive any modification except for a high-performance air filter and out back is a triangular sports exhaust tip.
Tuning hybrids is new business for the Japanese tuner. It is nice to see that just because an emphasis is put on fuel efficiency, fun is not left out of the equation. Unfortunately like most Mugen accessories this one is Japan only.