Honda's aim with its CR-Z hybrid sports coupe was to inject a bit of much-needed excitement into a market that viewed traditional hybrids as a bit dull, a bit vanilla.
Unfortunately for some, the CR-Z was neither a tire-burning machine nor a particularly parsimonious runabout. Maybe vanilla was the best hybrid fans could hope for.
Step forward Honda tuner Mugen Euro, who added a bit of wasabi to the CR-Z with the Mugen RR Concept at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011. The tuner has now announced production of the Mugen CR-Z iCF following a positive response from the public.
With the addition of a supercharger, charge-air cooler and induction system and a Mugen Euro-mapped ECU, power has increased from the standard car's electric motor-assisted 122 horsepower, to 173 horsepower. Torque has also increased.
Those changes help the car to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in only 6.1 seconds - 3 seconds quicker than the regular CR-Z.
Honda hasn't released any details of the car's economy just yet but we can't see it matching the 31 mpg city, 37 highway and 34 combined EPA figures. All that extra performance has to result in a few compromises.
Unfortunately, sales are currently limited to the U.K. and there's no equivalent model planned for North America, but if it proves popular across the pond then maybe we could push Honda to bring it over here...