Does the Mugen Honda HR-V look a bit silly?

By topgear, 26 April 2021

Honda has confirmed the powertrain in its new, hybrid-only HR-V crossover. And it’s bad news, fans of going moderately fast, because the HR-V’s combination of electric and 1.5-litre petrol power yields 129bhp and 254 Nm. Around 20bhp more than you get in the dinkier Jazz hybrid, but still rather modest.

Yet it’s not stopped Mugen from wheeling out some assertive mods. For Japanese market cars - where the HR-V is known as the Vezel - at least. This is the Mugen Vezel, and besides the offer of a new exhaust and air filter, it’s not any gnarlier beneath the skin.

The skin itself is quite striking, though, taking the deliberately smooth and simple appearance of the latest HR-V and giving it a proper going over – big 18in wheels as well as spoilers and splitters aplenty give it a markedly more assertive appearance than just about every other small crossover we can name. If only we had a spare hour or four to name them all.

Like it? Or is such a disparity between bark and bite a little silly?