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Honda

2008 Honda Civic Mugen SI

The new Honda Civic Si represents a bold step forward for the company. Although models with Mugen elements have been sold in the United States in the past, this is the first year that this model will exported to the US officially. On the outside, it looks like the regular Si with a few improvements, but it’s what lies beneath that will make this model special.

The 197-hp, 2.0-liter inline-four engine doesn’t hold too many surprises, and in fact, has disappointed some with its overall lack of performance. However, the newly revised suspension and sport exhaust make up for this in part. Inside, you won’t be able to tell much difference from the standard Si since the only change will be the new aluminum shift knob.

During testing, the Mugen Si was able to get from 0 to 60 in about 6.8 seconds, which is actually a fraction slower than the standard Si. This may be a disappointment to those who were hoping for a little more get up and go from the Mugen. This is most likely due to the fact that this model is a few pounds heavier than the standard Si. Since Mugen technically means without limits, it is a bit ironic that this model didn’t test as well as its predecessor.

Only 1000 Mugen units will be sold in the United States, and Honda hopes this will add an air of exclusivity to this release. The price is expected to come in at just under $32k, so don’t except to see too many people clamoring to get their hands on one. The similar Type R will be priced at around $4000k less a fact that many point to may undercut sales of the Mugen model considerably.

Body Notes

The new exterior of the Mugen is pleasing to the eye and several elements have been added to make it appear sportier. The car sports a brand new hood, as well as different fenders and a rear diffuser. The company has stated that the new aerodynamics are responsible for its increased performance, but this is pretty marginal over the previous models. All in all, it’s a nice car that looks very sporty and should appeal to those who are looking for an eye catching vehicle.

Interior Notes

Some have derided the interior as appearing too much like a video game console, but this may actually appeal to some buyers. The steering wheel is Ovid in shape and is wrapped in leather, which is a nice touch. The seats are upholstered heavily and the overall feel is very racy. Enthusiasts will appreciate the starter button and other elements that give the Mugen a race-car like feel.

Performance Notes

The 2.0 liter four cylinder engine is capable of 221 hp, making this a very serviceable little car. While some may expect more, the fuel economy is very good and overall this is a solid little performer, just as long as you don’t expect too much.

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