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Mugen Motorsports (M-TEC Co., Ltd) (無限) is a Japanese company formed in 1973 by Hirotoshi Honda, the son of Honda Motor Company founder Soichiro Honda, and Masao Kimura. Mugen, meaning "Without Limit", "Unlimited" or "Vast", (hence the commonly placed word "Power" after, denoting "Unlimited Power") is an engine tuner and parts manufacturer that manufactures OEM parts such as body kits and sports exhausts for Honda Motor Company. Despite the family connections, however, Mugen is not, and has never been, owned by Honda Motor Company; Mugen owner Hirotoshi Honda has been the major shareholder in Honda since his father's death in 1991.

Mugen Motorsports
IndustryAutomotive industry
Founded1973 (2003 M-TEC)
FounderHirotoshi Honda
Headquarters2-15-1 Hizaori, , Edit this on Wikidata
CR-Z. Super GT 2014 Rd.6 Suzuka 1000km: Yuhki Nakayama (Team Mugen)

The company tunes and races Honda vehicles in the Super GT championship, and, additionally, sells aftermarket parts to amateur enthusiasts. It was part of partnerships that won the Formula 3000 championship in 1990 and 1991, and that eventually led to Mugen's involvement in Formula One, from 1992 to 2000, and up to 2005 was the exclusive supplier of Formula Nippon engines.

Corporate historyEdit

The company has a strong racing heritage, as Hirotoshi Honda began building his own racing car in a workshop at his father's house, shortly before he graduated from Nihon University in 1965. Masao Kimura is a veteran racer with more than 50 victories in Honda sports cars and single-seaters and worked for Honda R&D and then Honda Racing Service before helping Hirotoshi Honda establish Mugen.

The company specializes in tuning Honda engines. Beginning with the 1200 cc Honda Civic engine, it went on to develop, and now designs and builds, both two-stroke and four-stroke engines, manufacturing many of the major components itself.

Mugen ultimately intends to build its own road cars and the first step towards this was the creation of bodykits for the Honda Ballade CR-X in 1984. Since then, the company has produced a number of body kits for Honda machinery, culminating with the Mugen NSX prototype in 1992.[1]

Following Hirotoshi Honda's tax evasion allegation in late 2003, Mugen was restructured in early 2004 with the establishment of M-TEC. The new company retained the right to use the Mugen trademark and its headquarters in Asaka, Saitama, in the northern suburbs of Tokyo close to the Honda R&D facility at Wako. Although it is a legally separate entity, M-TEC kept Mugen's existing staff and is headed by former Mugen board member Shin Nagaosa, who was the engineering division manager at Mugen and been involved with running Mugen's NSX racing program.

Mugen RacingEdit


Working with Honda, Mugen has gradually expanded its sporting involvement to all levels of the sport. In 1986, Formula 3000 was introduced into Japan and Mugen joined forces with Honda to build an F3000 engine. It was introduced in the 1987 season and leased to 14 teams. The following year, Mugen won four of the top five places in the Japanese F3000 championship. In 1989, Mugen entered European F3000 with the MF308 engine and won the championship with Jean Alesi, driving an Eddie Jordan Racing Reynard. The same year the company produced its own prototype 3.5L  V8 Formula One engine, codenamed MF350.

In 1988, Mugen started tuning Honda engines for use in Formula Three, winning the Japanese series with Akihiko Nakaya, and in 1990 expanded their business to Europe. The same year, Mugen won its first Formula Three championships in Europe, taking the French title with Éric Hélary, and the British crown with Mika Häkkinen at the wheel of a West Surrey Racing Ralt, which repeated the title in 1991 with Rubens Barrichello.

As F3000 became a spec-series in Europe starting in 1996 with the Lola-Judd combo, the Japanese series responded by making Mugen the sole supplier to the Japanese championship, now redubbed Formula Nippon. M-TEC lost the supply contract for the 2006 season, with the rules changing to allow Toyota associate TOM'S to join Mugen as engine supplier.

Mugen continues to enjoy success in the Formula Three circuit with its tuned 2.0 L Honda engines, having won 9 titles in Asia (8 of which in Japan) since 1988, as well as 19 titles in Europe (15 of them in Britain), and 13 in Latin America.

As of 2017, Mugen Formula engines still enjoy use and success across the various European hillclimb championships, employed in former Formula chassis and dedicated hillclimb prototypes.

Formula OneEdit

Mugen supplied Honda-derived engines to the Jordan Formula One team between 1998 and 2000.

In 1991 Mugen prepared Honda V10 engines for Tyrrell but the following year these engines were renamed Mugen MF351H and were transferred to the Footwork team, with drivers Aguri Suzuki and Michele Alboreto.

At the end of 1992 Honda pulled out of Formula One due to the Worldwide Recession, despite this however Mugen continued participation in Formula One from 1993 onwards using Tuned Honda engines.

In 1993, Mugen remained affiliated with Footwork and created a B version of the MF351H, used by Aguri Suzuki and Derek Warwick.

JS43 of the type driven by Olivier Panis at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix, on display.

At the end of the year, Mugen switched to Team Lotus with plans for a new Lotus 109. The team - with drivers Johnny Herbert and Pedro Lamy (later replaced by Alessandro Zanardi) - was underfunded and the 109 chassis was late arriving. The Mugen engine, codenamed ZA5C, was not able to show its full potential, the team consequently failed to score a single World Championship point during 1994 despite coming close on 3 occasions, this was the only season in which Mugen engines did not score a World Championship point during their time in Formula One.

After Lotus closed at the end of the year, Mugen switched to the Ligier team, which was then being run for Flavio Briatore by Tom Walkinshaw, with drivers Olivier Panis, Martin Brundle and Aguri Suzuki. The 3.0 L engine, conforming to the new regulations, was codenamed MF301H. The 1995 season was promising with points being scored at 9 races and the team securing 2 podiums, one courtesy of Martin Brundle finishing 3rd at the Belgian Grand Prix and the other by Olivier Panis finishing 2nd at the Australian Grand Prix, the team secured 24 points and finished a respectable 5th in the Constructors Championship, The following season with Ligier resulted in Mugen's first Formula One victory as well as Ligier's last ever Formula One victory at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix with Panis at the wheel, despite this unexpected success the Mugen powered Ligier car was only able to score 3 more points finishes during the rest of the season two 6th place finishes from Pedro Diniz and one 5th place finish from Panis, the team suffered 17 retirements during 1996.

Ligier was taken over by Alain Prost in 1997, and the newly named Prost Grand Prix ran MF301H-B engines with Jarno Trulli leading the Austrian Grand Prix before suffering engine failure, the Prost team managed two Podium finishes during the 1997 season at Brazil and Spain, they scored points in 8 races over the season securing a final total of 21 points and a 6th place finish in the Constructors Championship

With Prost establishing a relationship with Peugeot and switching to them from 1998 onwards, Mugen looked for a new partner and reached a two-year agreement with Jordan Grand Prix for which Mugen produced the MF301H-C engine. The first half of the 1998 season was an absolute disaster, it was so bad that at one point the owner of Mugen or Honda met with Eddie Jordan and his team during the 1998 Monaco Grand Prix to find out why up until then the team had failed to score a single World Championship point, the relationship continued, at Silverstone the team scored their first World Championship point of the season courtesy of a 6th place finish from Ralf Schumacher, from Britain onwards the team scored further points finishes at the next 3 races, it was not until Spa-Francorchamps, when Jordan's fortunes changed for the better, the drivers Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher scored a 1-2 finish securing Jordan's first ever Formula One victory and their only 1-2 finish during their existence. The team would score points on 2 further occasions with Ralf Achieving a 3rd place finish at the Italian Grand Prix.

The 1999 season resulted in further success with Heinz-Harald Frentzen winning twice in France and Italy, however due to better performances from Mclaren and Ferrari the Mugen powered Jordan cars were unable to challenge for both championships, sometime during the 1999 season the Honda Motor Company announced that it would be returning with its own engines from 2000 onwards with British American Racing. As a result due to Honda's return Mugen chose to pull out of F1 at the end of the 2000 season which left Honda to supply the engines to Jordan as well from 2001 onwards.

It is Unknown whether despite using the Honda name between 1991 and 2000 that Mugen were possibly funded by Honda themselves during this time period, Mugen's success in the late 1990's led to Honda's Formula One return in 2000, between 1991 and 2000 Mugen engines won 4 races, 1 with Ligier in 1996 and 3 with Jordan, 1 in 1998 and 2 in 1999. Mugen managed 16 Podium finishes during their time in Formula One and scored a grand total of 182 points with the various teams that they were associated with.

Sportscar racingEdit

In 1998, Mugen built four NSX models, two for the Mugen/Dome partnership, one for Team Kunimitsu and one for Nakajima Racing. The cars were fast but unreliable at first, until the Nakajima NSX scored the car's first win at the fourth round in Fuji. This was followed by three more wins (one of them by the Mugen/Dome team), which led to a second place championship finish for Tom Coronel and Kouji Yamanishi. In 1999, the Honda took three more wins, one of those with the Mugen/Dome team of Juichi Wakisaka and Katsutomo Kaneishi scoring a victory at the opening round in Suzuka and finishing the third best team in the championship. In 2000, the Mugen/Dome team was champion with Ryo Michigami, but the car's performance was limited by regulation changes and Michigami reached the title without a single win. Still, Honda won four races, one of them by the second Mugen/Dome car.

In 2001, Mugen concentrated once more in the JGTC, the NSX winning two races, and finishing second (Mugen/Dome) and third (ARTA) in the series. More importantly, in June, the company announced development of a new 4.0 L V8, dubbed MF408S, for the main prototype class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and American Le Mans Series. At the time, Mugen acknowledged that international sportscar racing was a new category for them. The concept of the MF408S was high power, compact size, durability and reliability. Mugen chose a 4.0 L (N/A) Naturally aspirated engine because they felt through their experience in Formula Three that restrictor size was key to performance. The idea was to save fuel with a smaller displacement engine, since, theoretically, restrictor size will bring power in any engine to a similar level. The main engines in use at the time were producing around 600 hp, including the turbocharged Audi and Cadillac, as well as the larger displacement BMW and the Roush-prepared Ford. Mugen excluded a turbo as this necessitated use of intercoolers to extract maximum performance, which added to the weight and reduced performance.

2002 was a good year for Mugen at the track. The Mugen-prepared NSXs won five rounds, with the Mugen/Dome team winning two races outright, which gave them the Team's championship title. The debut of the MF408S was in a Panoz chassis in the 2002 Sebring 12 Hours, first round of ALMS.

In 2004, M-TEC decided to drop down to GT300 and help train Japanese drivers for GT500 speeds. By grabbing promising drivers early in their careers, M-TEC would then be able to mold them and have definite access to future champions. M-TEC driver, Hiroyuki Yagi, was sourced from the Integra Series. Giving the drivers experience was more important than developing the car to take the championship. To this end, M-TEC simply detuned the car for the GT300 class without optimizing it for the new power level. Winning the GT300 series by one point over the ARTA Garaiya was simply an unintended bonus for a dedicated, championship-level team.

Breaking into the United States is another goal for the M-TEC team and the Mugen name. Currently, the authorized dealer of Mugen parts in the US is King Motorsports. Team director Junichi Kumakura thought racing the NSX in the United States was a great way to promote the company in a previously unvisited environment. When asked what else M-TEC would like to accomplish in America with the golden NSX, competing at Sebring and Daytona were marked as attractive goals.

MF408S Engine Technical SpecificationsEdit

Mugen MF408S engine
  • Engine Name: MF408S
  • Engine: 90° V8, naturally aspirated
  • Displacement: 4,000 cm³
  • Bore x Stroke: 97 mm x 67 mm
  • Max Power: Over 456 kW (612 hp; 620 PS) @ 9,500 rpm[2]
  • Max Torque: Over 520 N⋅m (380 lb⋅ft) @ 7,500 rpm[2]
  • Restrictor Size: 33.4 mm x2 or 46.8 mm x1
  • Ignition Type: Direct Injection
  • ECU System: EFI Technology Inc
  • CDI System: EFI Technology Inc
  • Clutch Type/Size Carbon / 5.5 inch 4-plate
  • Maintenance Interval: >3,000 km (>5,000 km at Le Mans 24h)
  • Length: 559 mm (not including flywheel)
  • Height: 577 mm (not including flywheel)
  • Width: 720 mm
  • Weight: 131 kg
  • Crank Height: 92 mm

MF 458S Engine Technical SpecificationsEdit

Engine Name: MF458S

  • Engine: 90° V8, naturally aspirated
  • Displacement: 4,500 cm³
  • Bore x Stroke: 100 mm x 71.6 mm
  • Max Power: 600+ hp (460 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
  • Max Torque: 398 lbf·ft (587 N·m) @ 7,000 rpm
  • Restrictor Size: 33.1 mm x2 or 46.6 mm x1
  • Ignition Type: Direct Injection
  • ECU System: EFI Technology Inc
  • CDI System: EFI Technology Inc
  • Clutch Type/Size Carbon / 5.5 inch 4-plate
  • Maintenance Interval: >3,000 km (>5,000 km at Le Mans 24h)
  • Length: 559 mm (not including flywheel)
  • Height: 577 mm (not including flywheel)
  • Width: 720 mm
  • Weight: 131 kg
  • Crank Height: 92 mm

Motorcycle RacingEdit

Isle of Man TT RacesEdit

Bruce Anstey on the Team Mugen Shinden San at Parliament Square, Ramsey in 2014

Mugen have become the dominant force in electrically powered motorcycles competing at the Isle of Man TT Races. In the eight years since their introduction into the TT Zero, the average speed of the Mugen Shinden around the Snaefell Mountain Course has increased from 102.215 mph (164.499 km/h) in 2012 to 121.91 mph (196.20 km/h) in 2019.[3]


Making their competitive debut at the 2012 Isle of Man TT, John McGuinness took the Mugen Shinden Ni to second place behind the MotoCzysz of Michael Rutter at an average speed of 109.527 mph.[3]


At the 2013 TT Mugen again finished runners up to MotoCzysz, with Rutter and McGuinness repeating the previous year's result.[3]


Mugen's development has continued at subsequent races in the TT Zero Category. Fielding two machines at the 2014 Isle of Man TT, John McGuinness secured their maiden victory ahead of teammate Bruce Anstey who took second place on the other Shinden San.[3]


At the 2015 TT McGuinness and Anstey again took the first two spots on the rostrum.[3]


Mugen continued their dominance in the TT Zero class at the Isle of Man TT Races in 2016, when Bruce Anstey took the honours, although their other machine, ridden by John McGuinness, retired during the one lap event.


Anstey and Guy Martin came first and second respectively, both riding Mugen machines.


The Mugen motorcycles achieved first and third place with Michael Rutter and Lee Johnston respectively, split by Daley Mathison riding for the University of Nottingham. Rutter broke the 120mph barrier to set a new lap record of 121.824 mph (196.057 km/h).


With Shinden Hachi, Mugen achieved their sixth consecutive victory with Michael Rutter again increasing the lap record average speed to 121.91mph. John McGuinness followed his team-mate home to complete a 1-2 finish for the team.


Honda Civic Mugen RR (2007)

M-Tec has also built concept Honda vehicles, using the company's own performance parts. Some models (e.g.: Mugen Civic RR) are also sold in Japanese domestic market.

List of Mugen vehiclesEdit

Production vehiclesEdit

  • 2008 Civic Mugen Si marketed in North America
  • 2007 Civic Mugen RR marketed in Japan
  • CR-Z Mugen
  • Prelude Mugen
  • Accord Mugen

Formula One statisticsEdit

Year Team GPs Wins Pole Position Podiums Fastest laps Points
1992 Footwork-Mugen Honda 16 0 0 0 0 6
1993 Footwork-Mugen Honda 16 0 0 0 0 4
1994 Lotus-Mugen Honda 16 0 0 0 0 0
1995 Ligier-Mugen Honda 17 0 0 2 0 24
1996 Ligier-Mugen Honda 16 1 0 1 0 15
1997 Prost-Mugen Honda 17 0 0 2 0 21
1998 Jordan-Mugen Honda 16 1 0 3 0 34
1999 Jordan-Mugen Honda 16 2 1 6 0 61
2000 Jordan-Mugen Honda 17 0 0 2 0 17

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine(s) Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1992 Footwork Mugen Honda Footwork FA13 MF-351H 3.5 V10 RSA MEX BRA ESP SMR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 6 7th
  Michele Alboreto 10 13 6 5 5 7 7 7 7 9 7 Ret 7 6 15 Ret
  Aguri Suzuki 8 DNQ Ret 7 10 11 DNQ Ret 12 Ret Ret 9 Ret 10 8 8
1993 Footwork Mugen Honda Footwork FA13B
Footwork FA14
  Derek Warwick 7 9 Ret Ret 13 Ret 16 13 6 17 4 Ret Ret 15 14 10
  Aguri Suzuki Ret Ret Ret 9 10 Ret 13 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 7
1994 Team Lotus Lotus 107C MF-351 HC 3.5 V10
MF-351 HD 3.5 V10
  Pedro Lamy 10 8 Ret 11
  Alessandro Zanardi 9 15
  Johnny Herbert 7 7 10 Ret
Lotus 109 Ret 8 7 11 Ret Ret 12 Ret 13
  Alessandro Zanardi 16 13 Ret
Ret Ret Ret 13 Ret
  Philippe Adams Ret 16
  Éric Bernard 18
  Mika Salo 10 Ret
1995 Ligier Gitanes Blondes Ligier JS41 MF-301 3.0 V10 BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR PAC JPN AUS 24 5th
  Martin Brundle 9 Ret 10 4 Ret Ret 3 Ret 8 7 Ret
  Aguri Suzuki 8 Ret 11 6 Ret DNS
  Olivier Panis Ret 7 9 6 Ret 4 8 4 Ret 6 9 Ret Ret Ret 8 5 2
1996 Ligier Gauloises Blondes Ligier JS43 MF-301 HA 3.0 V10 AUS BRA ARG EUR SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN 15 6th
  Olivier Panis 7 6 8 Ret Ret 1 Ret Ret 7 Ret 7 5 Ret Ret 10 7
  Pedro Diniz 10 8 Ret 10 7 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret
1997 Prost Gauloises Blondes Prost JS45 MF-301 HB 3.0 V10 AUS BRA ARG SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA AUT LUX JPN EUR 21 6th
  Olivier Panis 5 3 Ret 8 4 2 11 6 Ret 7
  Jarno Trulli 10 8 4 7 15 10 Ret
  Shinji Nakano 7 14 Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 11 7 6 Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret 10
1998 Benson and Hedges Jordan Jordan 198 MF-301 HC 3.0 V10 AUS BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR AUT GER HUN BEL ITA LUX JPN 34 4th
  Damon Hill 8 DSQ 8 10 Ret 8 Ret Ret Ret 7 4 4 1 6 9 4
  Ralf Schumacher Ret Ret Ret 7 11 Ret Ret 16 6 5 6 9 2 3 Ret Ret
1999 Benson and Hedges Jordan Jordan 199 MF-301 HD 3.0 V10 AUS BRA SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR AUT GER HUN BEL ITA EUR MAL JPN 61 3rd
  Damon Hill Ret Ret 4 Ret 7 Ret Ret 5 8 Ret 6 6 10 Ret Ret Ret
  Heinz-Harald Frentzen 2 3 Ret 4 Ret 11 1 4 4 3 4 3 1 Ret 6 4
2000 Benson and Hedges Jordan Jordan EJ10
Jordan EJ10B
  Heinz-Harald Frentzen Ret 3 Ret 17 6 Ret 10 Ret 7 Ret Ret 6 6 Ret 3 Ret Ret
  Jarno Trulli Ret 4 15 6 12 Ret Ret 6 6 Ret 9 7 Ret Ret Ret 13 12

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Out-of-print 'What's Mugen' Catalogue "Mugen NSX Prototype – The 90’s Supercar That Never Was", JapClassifieds, Retrieved on 06 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Mugen Race Car Engines". King Motorsports blog. King Motorsports. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Machines - The World's #1 TT Website".
  4. ^ "2008 Tokyo Auto Salon: Honda Fit F154SC concept by Mugen". Autoblog.
  5. ^ "Honda Civic 5D MUGEN Concept". 3 September 2008.
  6. ^ Honda Civic 5D MUGEN (Concept Model) Archived 2009-01-18 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit