Takeru Tojo’s 2007 Mugen RR: A Blend of Authenticity and Simplicity
Taking a look back at the legendary Mugen RR gives us all the feels.
With all the hype surrounding the FK8 Honda Civic Type R, it seems to have overshadowed all of the Type R models before it. America finally got the CTR, but missed out on the FD2 Type R that graced the streets and tracks of Japan, and, meanwhile, Europe got the FN2.
Back in the day, a little over 10 years ago, when the FD2 made its debut, it was a huge improvement over the EP3. With a solid chassis, the glorious naturally-aspirated K20A, and good looks, it lived up to the red “H” badge. Shortly after, legendary Honda tuning company Mugen took 300 FD2Rs and added some Mugen sorcery to create the Mugen RR. One of the 300 ever built made its way to, Takeru Tojo who lives in Japan. Honda-tech’s collective jealously is through the roof, naturally.
Takeru-san is a long time Honda enthusiast and the leader of L2P (Lowered 2 Perfection), a car club consisting of a group of friends who own tastefully modified Hondas.
L2P’s philosophy is authenticity through choosing the right parts to show pure JDM spirit. Whether it’s JDM or USDM parts, everything needs to have total balance. That’s the most important part. – Takeru Tojo
Less is more.
Following that philosophy, Takeru-san chose to keep things simple in the engine department. With the already upgraded Mugen cams and valvetrain that comes with the RR model, internals were left alone. He did add more Mugen parts like a Mugen radiator and even an optional RR coil plug cover. Just for a little contrast, he threw on a Spoon oil cap just to make things a little interesting.
What just might be the most interesting modification to the RR is the bespoke exhaust system made by Saclam. If you asked me how many RRs have a Saclam exhaust, just raise up one finger and you’ll get your answer. And if the exhaust tip looks familiar, then you’d be correct. It’s the same tip from the old EF9 Mugen exhaust system. Knock-off? Nope!
Saclam founder, Mr. Uno used to work at Mugen and is the original designer of the EF9 exhaust system. Takeru-san also mentioned that Mr. Uno also had a part in designing the MF8 and MF10 wheels. Cool right?
Making the RR sharper than it already is.
When it comes to the Mugen RR’s cornering performance, it’s already quite a weapon being that it can do 1:00 lap times at Tsukuba without any modifications. Even though Takeru-san’s RR is strictly a street car, he still felt inclined to add some personal touches in the suspension and chassis department. The front subframe was dropped to install a set of Spoon rigid collars and the Mugen coilovers were replaced with a set of HKS Hipermax IV coilovers. A set of bronze Volk Racing TE37 Saga wheels complements the red exterior and are wrapped in sticky Toyo Proxes R888 rubber.
When JDM/USDM styles come together.
It’s no secret that Honda enthusiasts over in Japan like to use U.S. parts and styling and vice versa. Takeru-san recently got his RR back from the body shop because he converted his rear end with an FA5 trunk and taillight assemblies. Some might think the FA5 conversion is blasphemous, but to each his own right? Surprisingly enough, I actually dig it and I really love the FD2 rear end too. From behind, you probably won’t even think it’s an RR without looking at the rest of the car. Everything thing else outside is standard RR minus the Spoon blue wide mirror and Mugen mirror covers.
Mugen + Spoon? Why not?
Like the exterior, not much was tampered with when you take a look inside. A Mugen Racing III steering wheel with a Works Bell quick release replaced the OEM steering wheel. A Spoon carbon Kevlar bucket seat for the driver can be found while the passenger Mugen RR seat was kept as is, at least for now. A Dimes Performance shift knob and U.S. imported Alpine head unit were also added to complete the interior styling.
Takeru-san’s Mugen RR isn’t the most highly modified FD2 Type Rs around, but I must say that it’s the most true to form in terms of Japanese Honda tuning. More parts doesn’t necessarily make a project car better. And I believe this particular Mugen RR is the perfect example of that.
What do you think of Takeru Tojo’s Mugen RR? Let us know on the forum!
Photos by: Takeru Tojo