Mugen Power: Honda bringing tricked-out minivans and baby sports cars to Tokyo

The Tokyo Auto Salon is just around the corner, and unlike tech-focused events like CES 2016, the show is primarily focused on aesthetics. Last year, Honda was in rare form with Barbie and American muscle-themed Kei cars, and this time around, the brand is leaning on its longtime tuning partner Mugen to present some unique and eye-catching designs.

Mugen was founded in 1973 by Hirotoshi Honda — son of Honda Motor Company founder Soichiro Honda — and although the automaker doesn’t officially own Mugen, the tuning company’s familial connection has led to some of the most coveted parts in the aftermarket world. Many of these components are featured on Mugen’s Tokyo fleet, which includes two Honda S660s, a Civic Type R Concept, a Step WGN minivan, a Vezel crossover (known as the HR-V in the U.S.), an SF14 racecar, and even a Shinden Yon electric superbike.

Honda will also showcase a variety of vehicles featuring parts from its Modulo customization catalog, all of which can be seen at the manufacturer’s Tokyo Auto Salon booth website.

Before the Makuhari Messe convention center opens its doors in Chiba City on January 15, Honda will have another big day in Detroit. At the 2016 International Auto Show, the manufacturer will finally debut the all-new 2017 Ridgeline, a highly anticipated followup to the original “anti-truck” that debuted in 2005.

Despite the quirkiness of the original, the new version is expected to boast a more traditional design than its predecessor, as evidenced by Honda’s official teaser images. The company also previewed the pickup with the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck in November.

Technical details are still under wraps for now, but the Ridgeline will ride on a shared platform with the Honda Pilot, and thus the SUV’s 3.5-liter V-6 and nine-speed transmission are likely to carry over. For more, check back after the truck’s debut on January 11.


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