2008 Honda Civic Mugen Si Is Today's Bring a Trailer Find

2008 honda civic mugen si front
2008 Honda Civic Mugen Si Is Today's BaT FindBring a Trailer
  • Mugen is a longtime Honda tuner and motorsports company.

  • Just 1000 of these specially tuned Civic Si sedans were built.

  • With only 18,000 miles, this example is as close as you're likely to find to a mid-2000s time machine.

Some cars are obviously something special, and then there are models that are much more if you know, you know. Most would see this Honda as just another 15-year-old Civic with a body kit—albeit one in exceptionally nice shape. The cognoscenti, however, will recognize this particular eighth-gen Civic with a body kit as the rare, one-year-only Civic Mugen Si. And that's what makes this 2008 Civic, up for auction on Bring a Trailer—which, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos—a noteworthy find.

Mugen Motorsport was founded in Japan in 1973 and is so close to Honda as to be part of the company's bloodline. That's literally true, as Mugen was co-founded by Hirotoshi Honda, son of Soichiro. Mugen translates to "without limits," and the company has done everything from supply Honda V-10s for Tyrrell's F1 team to winning at the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races. Along the way, it also produced a series of highly tuned road cars, most of them exclusively for the Japan market.

2008 honda civic mugen si rear
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The limited-production (1000 units) Civic Mugen Si was North America's first bite of that delicious tweaked-Honda apple. However, as it turned out, it was much the same great taste as the normal Civic Si. The Mugen version didn't make any more power than the standard Si, and the premium was a whopping $8190.

Fifteen years later, it starts to seem more special. First, it's rare. Those forged 18-inch wheels are expensive jewelry, and every time you shift that crisp six-speed manual, you shake hands with a special Mugen aluminum shift knob. Further, this Civic is not all show: The suspension revisions drop the car 0.6 inch, improving turn-in and sharpening up the steering, and the unique exhaust system provides a more characterful sound.

2008 honda civic mugen si engine
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Even better, this is all icing on top of a wonderful yet practical car. This '08 Civic puts up nearly identical performance figures to its turbocharged descendant, but it does so in proper screaming Honda fashion, producing a peak of 197 horsepower at 7800 rpm, just shy of the 8000-rpm redline.

Which means you have to work for your speed, rowing through the gears and spinning that needle to the far reaches of the tachometer. By comparison, the modern Civic Si offers more low-end power, but max revs are just 6600.

2008 honda civic mugen si interior
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With only 18,000 miles on its odometer and virtually without flaws inside and out, this Civic Mugen Si is a prime example of the model. It's just special enough to be collectible, but also absolutely usable as a daily driver.

The auction ends on November 21.

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