Mugen wants to build a hardcore version of the Honda Jazz/Fit

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 25, 2011

Mugen Euro wants to build a hot, more hardcore version of the Jazz supermini. Mugen Euro, Honda’s performance tuning division based in Northampton, UK, is known for having built a supercharged version of the CR-Z hybrid that may go on a limited run. Mugen Euro has said that it seeks to build the unlikeliest of hot hatches. In Japan, Mugen has already offered several styling updates and tuning components for the Jazz (where it’s known as the Fit).

However, the upgrades to its performance are minimal. Now, Mugen Euro management seeks to boost its performance by using either the CR-Z’s supercharged hybrid powerplant or a normally aspirated, high-revving 2.0-litre VTEC unit comparable to what was used in the latest Civic Type R.

Mugen Euro’s general manager Colin Whittamore said that they’ve long wanted to create something that’s based on the Jazz. He said that it “wouldn’t be much of a stretch” for the Jazz to be powered by the 197bhp supercharged version of the CR-Z’s 1.5-litre hybrid motor. Mugen is presently dyno-testing this vehicle in the UK before it makes its public debut at the Goodwood.

When the Honda Fit was first released, the goal was to offer a vehicle in the subcompact class that would rise above its competitors especially with the multi-functional interior and the high quality feel. For 2009, Honda made sure to improve the Fit in order for it to have a sportier attitude. This was made possible by performing a number of activities like enriching the rigidity of the body and even the steering.

While the company made sure to make improvements to the suspension, it also put in the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure. For the interior, the Magic Seat in the rear was enhanced and the front seats now have active head restrains. Also new in the Fit is the addition of standard safety equipment that is clearly on a different level than before. Since the goal was to make it sportier, it was therefore necessary to boost the fun-to-drive and high-revving character of the vehicle. To achieve this, the company equipped the new Fit with the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine. This engine has its output at 6,600 rpm of 117 horsepower with peak torque of 106 lb.-ft. coming in at 4,800 rpm.

Paired to this engine is the standard manual 5-speed transmission though the company is offering as an option the automatic 5-speed variant. For those who choose to have their Fit Sport equipped with the automatic transmission, the steering wheel will have paddle shifters mounted to it in order for the driver to still have manual gear selection. For the Fit equipped with the manual transmission, or the Fit Sport that has the automatic or manual, both carry the Environmental Protection Agency city fuel economy rating at 27 mpg with high fuel economy rating at 33 mpg.

Having an automatic transmission for the Fit will give it an EPA city fuel economy rating of 28 mpg and highway fuel economy rating of 35 mpg. In terms of suspension, the front has the MacPherson strut suspension while the rear will have the torsion beam suspension, both of which have been modified in order to give the Fit a dynamic, pure, and of course, sporty driving experience.

Both models have their wheels increased by 1 inch. The Fit will have the 15-inch wheels equipped with the 175/65 R15 84S tires. Meanwhile the Fit Sport has the 16-inch wheels and the 185/55 R16 83H tires. Both however will have as standard the anti-lock braking system which will have the electronic brake distribution. This EBD utilizes ventilated discs measuring 10.3 inches in the front while the rear will have the drums measuring 7.9 inches.

In terms of dimension, since the total length is at 161.6 inches, there is no doubt that this is indeed a compact car. Even so, the interior continues to offer enough space as passenger volume is at 90.8 cubic feet with the cargo volume in the rear at 20.6 feet. In addition to offering seats for 5 passengers, the Fit allows for multiple seating and even has various set-ups when the time comes to carry some cargo. Specifically there is the utility mode, long object mode, and tall object mode.

Regarding the new Fit, American Honda executive vice president Dick Colliver shared that while this may be a small vehicle package, it offers a high function especially with the number of innovative technology equipped and the inclusion of first-rate features. For those who buy the Fit, he added, they will be getting a vehicle that has the finest quality, an outstanding elegance, as well as great economy and value. On the interior, the Magic Seat in the rear was upgraded.

It can now be folded flat to the floor through dive-down one-motion functionality and thus increase the cargo volume to 57.3 cubic feet. All this is possible without having the need to detach the head restraints of the rear seats. Equipped inside the Fit, for the first time ever, is the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System that comes with a 6.5-inch screen and at least 7 million points of interest. For the Fit Sport, this navigation system will also offer Voice Recognition.

In addition, for those who choose to have the navigation system, they will also get the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), or the electronic stability control. In terms of safety features, among those equipped as standard in the Fit are the side-curtain airbags, dual-threshold and dual-stage airbags in the front, and the dual front-side airbags that come with the passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System. Still on the interior, some standard features of the Fit include the power door locks, the power mirrors, and power windows. In terms of entertainment, there is the MP3/WMA playback capability and the AM/FM/CD audio system that has 4 speakers.

There is even the Radio Data System and the auxiliary audio input jack. For the Fit Sport, the audio system will have a USB Audio Interface, five-mode equalizer, and 6 speakers. The Fit Sport will also have cruise control and a security system that allows for a keyless remote entry. On its exterior, it will have fog lights, roofline spoiler in the rear, underbody aero kit, and alloy wheels.

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