Honda Civic Type R vs. Civic Mugen RR: Which Would You Rather?
The latest and greatest squares up against the last of the old guard. Which Civic Type R is the one to have?
The FK8 Honda Civic Type R is the hot hatch to have. It’s better than the Ford Focus RS, faster than the Subaru WRX STi, and more engaging than the Volkswagen Golf R. Indeed, the biggest foe that the current Civic Type R has comes from within Honda itself.
Why? Well, it’s quite simple. Honda has built a legacy of excellent front-wheel drive sport compacts. Honda transforms friendly daily drivers into precision-engineered driver’s cars that are equally at home on the race track, and your favorite winding road. However, as incredibly competent as the current Type R is, it is a very different car from its predecessors. Turbo versus naturally-aspirated, raw driving dynamics versus refined competency, indeed, the Type R models of the past achieve their excellence in a way that the current car simply cannot match. However, none of them are as fast, or as usable every day as the current Type R. So, which is best?
Contempo Concept HK Motors, a retailer based out of Hong Kong, set out to answer that question. They grabbed the last of the old school hot Hondas, a Civic Mugen RR, and the current FK8 to see which is best.
ALSO SEE: Honda Civic Type R Track Tested!
The Mugen RR is a 1-of-300, ultra rare variant of the already rare and desirable FD2 Civic Type R. Mugen recalibrated the FD2’s suspension setup, added sweet 18-inch wheels and even nicer Recaro bucket seats, and used lighter body panels. Oh, and they tweaked the K20A engine to produce 240 horsepower at 8,000 RPM and 161 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 RPM. The Mugen-tuned K20A has more aggressive cams, a higher-flowing header and exhaust system, and a custom ECU flash to manage the power. Peak engine RPM is set to 8,600 revs. Many of us in the office believe this to be one of the best Honda products ever made.
The FK8 also uses a K20, but this one is basically an entirely different engine. Dubbed ‘K20C,’ the 2.0-liter engine has direct-fuel injection, and a turbo hanging off the front of the engine. With 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and only a 300lb weight penalty, the current Type R is much faster. It’s also a road course monster, and holds several production car lap records thanks to its fancy adaptive dampers, well-sorted chassis and big brakes.
So the curent car wins on paper, but battles aren’t won on pape, they are won in the real world. Which would you rather have, the newer, faster hot Honda, or the older, rarer, and more raw FD2 Mugen RR?