Mugen Newest Craziness… Mugen Civic Type RR

We know Mugen, the-not-so-official-Honda-tuner who always has crazy ideas about increasing the performance out of Honda’s latest products. Last year we witnessed the arrival of Honda Civic Mugen Dominator concept. A Civic with a supercharged K20 engine producing 300 horsepower akin to the engine found on the Ariel Atom. While Honda is against of using force induction technology, Mugen is free as they are not officially Honda therefore their product concept often leads to “interesting” what if scenario.

Aside from the supercharged engine, Mugen also changed the Civic body kit to full carbon fiber, a rear diffuser + exhaust, and an adjustable rear wing.

Mugen latest crazy work with Honda’s mid sized car is the Mugen Civic Type RR. This time because it uses the venerable Type R moniker, Mugen respect what it means and created a car akin to the Dominator concept while using naturally aspirated engine. Derived from the same K20 engine, Mugen upstroke the engine to 2200cc producing 260 horsepower, while a king’s ransom worth in carbon fiber is used to change the whole front side of the car and used in the interior for aesthetic and structural integrity.

Again, this is just a “what if” scenario, Mugen doesn’t intend to make it commercial except if there are sufficient demand.

By the way, Honda Type R cars always means naturally aspirated, and light.

Honda always sticks to their nonsensical “gentleman” rule that a car engine should be naturally aspirated, and it’s the raw driving sensation that is more important. From that point of thinking, all race bred Honda cars will have stiff suspension for better track handling, light chassis that throws away all the amenities (audio system and AC is surely gone, or optional), and all cars will be powered by a naturally aspirated engine. Sure, all of that combined will results in a naturaly balanced cars, heck, even all Type Rs from Honda is regarded as the most fun to drive cars by many. The perfect car… Is it? Well, one thing for sure, if you win a touring car with a Honda it shows that you are one heck of a great driver. Sure all race bred Honda cars have near perfect handling, but their engine power are nothing to be desired. It’s a given trademark… If all the touted “racing simulation” games out there really is a simulation, then it is replicating real world results. So I played Gran Turismo 4 and Forza Motorsport 2 on the Playstation and XBOX platform, driving the Integra Type-R was such a satisfying feeling. Against Subaru Impreza WRX and Mitsubishi Evo 8, I win… What the… Both cars decimate my puny naturally aspirated engine right from the start of the race, but through consistency and daring corner late brakes, somehow I chase them and won. The same happens when I drove the WRX or the EVO, I blasted the Integra at the start of the race, but somehow near the finish, the gap is close, very close and occasionally I cheat to win (can’t tell 🙂 )

Mugen concepts from time to time doesn’t adhere to Honda philosophy, so they use force induction and still provides amenity to their products. However, this philosophy is why I love Honda, because it’s very uncommon nowadays to find even a person who have such integrity… Me? Well, let’s just say that I have similar integrity and it brought so much misery.


Mugen Dominator website
Tokyo Auto Salon Mugen Civic Type RR

Honda Accord Euro / Acura TSX 2008 Teaser Pictures, and Witty Comments

Well, it’s finally official, these are teaser pictures taken from a short promotional film of 2008 Accord Euro Wagon. This pictures also applied to the 2008/9 Acura TSX because basically the TSX is Accord Euro sedan in Japan and in America (under the guise of Acura). Like any Honda Accord Euro wagon before it, the sedan version front fascia is exactly the same with its wagon counterpart.

Higher resolution pictures and the original movie can be found by clicking here.

This is the overall “shape” of the car, the engine bay looks quite lengthy.
Chromes galore!! Very Honda like.
Stylish projector headlights + front parking sensors.
Any longer than that, the headlights might as well extends to the A pillar.
Still conservative but definitely luscious.

Now let’s talk about the engine this baby will come with. According to Temple Of VTEC forumers, it is confirmed that this car will come with Honda second generation diesel engine, the I-DTEC. The engine will be introduced along with the car unveiling in Europe, but the I-DTEC will come in 2009 for Acura TSX in America. Two things about the engine option that raises an eyebrow is that it is rumored that the car will come with a VTEC Turbo found in the RDX, and an option of small displacement V6. Well, a high output engine is surely needed if Acura wants to keep their promise of introducing SH-AWD, their patented unique all wheel drive system across their product portfolio. After all, all wheel drive system although the safest form of drivetrain configuration out there also burdens the engine because it has to drive all four wheels at any given moment.

But one thing that I do not know for sure… What it’s base engine option? Another K series? K20? Honda has A-VTEC for quite a long time now, but it seemingly for technical reasons they didn’t release the engine yet. I’ve talked about Honda newest VTEC mechanism here, so just click on it if you’re curious.

Anyway, I think I have to apologize to Honda after all… I’ve wrote on my previous entry that I would apologize publicly to Honda for ranting about how the Asian/US Accord looks if they come up with the modulo concept body kit. However, I realize that Honda is doing a market/product integration which is doing very well actually. The US market can make do without bling-bling, even though the Asian market prefers it that way. However, I’ve not even look at the real car and I made a harsh judgment from pictures that can be out of proportion or not true to scale, skewing my expectation and perception of the car. Surely, with Accord Euro looking very… Stylish so to say, Honda designers know what they are doing.

So there you go, my apology.

I am still willing to buy an SX4 though…

Entry updated here 

Saying Sorry Still Works In This Crazy World

On my previous post, I’ve mentioned about perception and what power it beholds. Truth be told, perception is everything in the marketing world as far as I know. You can have the best product in the world, but if perception dictates otherwise, you do not have the best product in the world. When you launched a so so product early in its life cycle and develop it to be perfect later on, people will perceive the product to be so so, especially if said people didn’t purchase/use that product again later in its life cycle.

However, perception can be created or altered even though it takes time to do it. XBOX 360 for example, this latest gaming system from Microsoft is considered to be the next generation system with the widest range of game available to date. Nintendo Wii might be the most popular and Sony PS3 might have the popularity “heritage” from its PS2 days, but XBOX 360 with Microsoft first mover advantage has gained considerable market time and game availability that surpass both Sony and Nintendo next generation console. However, Microsoft’s XBOX 360 isn’t exactly reliable as every console there is in the world, because of the tragic red ring of death. But, thanks to Microsoft swift response, the warranty has been extended for the XBOX 360 and people can replace/repair their damaged system for free. At least in the USA, or every country which they have an official representative… Sadly my country is not in the list, and I have to repair my XBOX 360 to a local technician, but it gets the job done as the problem has been isolated to weak cooling mechanism.

With people perceiving that Microsoft has failed delivering a reliable gaming system, it’s only a matter of time before people jump ships to other next generation gaming system right? Well not really… Microsoft reputation was blemished for sure with the XBOX 360 fiasco but their constant marketing effort to “apologize” to their customers is highly regarded. Microsoft blew the cooling mechanism, and they offer an extended warranty, XBOX live downtime, and they offer free download of games. It seems that saying sorry is still applicable in this crazy world after all, if not, people would just flock to PS3 and Wii (if only their games library is as extensive as XBOX 360).

Now this is one example I share to all of you how perception can be altered. Next up, we will talk about how perception creates brand image through the means of knowledge and experience, and how it brings down Acura marquee.

Share Your Stories With Us :)

To tell you all the truth, it’s not just the hangovers that prohibits me to update this blog. I also helped a friend of mine by being a contributor at his blog… Gadget Stories. It’s about the stories of people using their gadgets. It’s quite fun, a bit of news, a bit of story, all about gadgets. But anyway, that’s done, I will focus more now to my own blog and my personal life.

Till then, XOXO

Next up… Perception Kills Acura

More Dangerous Than Nuclear Bomb & Compound Interest… Perception!

Nuclear bombs decimate two of Japan’s city with casualties exceeding thousands of lifes, and compound interest… Well, let’s just say that because of it, lots of people lost their everything. The Romans once even ban compound interest in their law (although we know compound interest is very lively nowadays). But there is something more than those two combined, well, what else is there except for perception.

Now first, let’s talk about what is perception means literally. Because I don’t have my trusty library next to me, I will define perception with the help from the almighty internet itself. The meaning of perception varies a lot from sources to sources, I was even kind of shocked by how many meanings it contain. However… I noticed some similarity between them, therefore this is what I interpret about perception from the various sources (link at the end of the article). Perception is our disposition towards something related through our past experience… Now that’s a new definition of perception.

Now from the definition which I have filtered from various sources means that our judgment or perception will differs wildly because a person’s personal experience is up to God’s will and cannot be constructed as we hoped. This fact is actually quite new to me. I thought that perception is a response from a person directly when that situation arise. Then, about a week ago, I talk to my father about perception, he also added something new for me. In his book, he wrote about perception is a cumulative experience of a person PLUS our instinct… Instinct? What the hell… Then he describes that almost everybody are afraid of the dark although the intensity varies. Well, this is actually true because it is human nature to be afraid of the unknown, I think it goes back to our ancestors days.

So if I might summarize it all, perception is a person attitude towards a subject prior to their experience, knowledge and mood at the time they make a judgment. I put personal mood because sometimes, people makes decision based on feelings, just a bit personal experience there.

Now let’s get into the interesting part… The examples!

Now we have Suzuki and their SX4, Honda and their CR-V, Nissan and their Livina. In Indonesia, those respective cars delivery waiting period exceeds 3 months, and the question is what people perceives about the long delivery waiting period? To the majority of people, it means that all three cars are a hot item, but to the more wary people, it means that all three company fails to estimate the market absorption rate of their products. Me? I’m one of the wary people so I perceive Honda, Nissan and Suzuki has failed to estimate the market absorption rate of CR-V, Livina and SX-4. One would argue that the company could not do anything about it because their main headquarter established a fixed quota… Well, global warming is a natural cause anyway (sarcasm warning).

Then how about J.Co and Krispy Kreme strategy here in Indonesia? They play perception game quite well if I bold enough to speak. Well, this is my blog, I can write anything anyway… One peculiar thing I noticed about those spritely donut shops are how their cashier counter and queue line is set up. Most often than not, it revolves around one single line with two cashier waiting at the end of the line. This set up will always make a long queue line even when the customer load (people coming) is just medium to high. I consider this as a stupid management, but there are two advantage of doing this. One is there are more seating space because the queueing line is just a single file, and two, people will perceive that J.Co and Krispy Kreme products are so good even people willing to wait in long line just to purchase it. There you go… Perception…. Me? Again, as my personal experience are a bit bitter, I consider it as a hassle. I demand swift service, I want to go in and out as fast as possible, so I just consider J.Co and Krispy Kreme queue strategy as lacking management wise. However, us we are Asians who are typically does not want to be left out of the “loop” will consider this queueing line as something that is “hip” and we as people must follow that trend. Because we perceive that if people stand that long for just an over the top sugary treat or whatever it is must be extremely good… Me? I don’t like queue lines, when I buy donuts I bought Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, just because they have shorter queue line than J.Co.

So there you go, perception. I can go on and on about the examples of perception, but it is a little bit of a moot point because there are just too many examples out there already.

Until then, XOXO… (I’ve been watching too much Gossip Girl)

The Sources:

American Marketing Association definition of perception
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions definition of perception
Canadian Food Inspection Agency definition of perception