Mugen gives 2021 Honda N-One some peppy attitude

Mitchell Jones

Honda’s retro-styled Kei car, the N-One, is now available with some performance accessories courtesy of Honda’s own tuning division, Mugen. A Japan-only model, the Honda N-One is the best-selling car in the JDM ‘Kei car’ category.

Typically renowned for modifying Civic Type Rs and NSXs, Mugen has turned its attention to Honda’s entry-level car. Enthusiasm for hotted-up Kei cars (660cc or under) is in steady supply in Japan – there’s even a one-make racing series. Tight, technical circuits such as the famed Tsukuba lend themselves well to this kind of vehicle.

The N-One Mugen takes the boxy, old-school aesthetic and injects some attitude via blacked-out front valance, side skirts, dark forged ‘FR8’ alloys and a Gurney Flap-style rear spoiler add-on. These are particularly visible on the searing, tangerine-coloured vehicle pictured. Available stripes and red badging also add to the appeal of the diminutive vehicle.

While no pictures of the interior are supplied, changes here are restricted to a special shift-knob and drilled pedals. Sports mats are also available.

Mechanically, an upgraded exhaust should give the little terrier some pop-and-bang, as well as an available air filter upgrade. An English translation of Mugen’s website also mentions the development of a “Performance Damper” for the new N-One, derived from similar dampers given to the S660 and Civic Type R. These have apparently been “well received for improving high-quality riding comfort and steering stability”.

As per the Kei car regulations, the N-One is powered by a 660cc three-cylinder engine producing 43kW, or there’s a turbo version that sends the power skyrocketing to the class-limit 47kW. The RS version comes with a six-speed manual.

While this model is not available in Australia, the Honda N-One has found favour with local grey-import fans who don’t want to be restricted by what an official Honda showroom will sell them.

What do you think of the Honda N-One with Mugen accessories? Does it make you want to do a slalom at your local shopping centre car park? (Disclaimer: Not advised.)

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