Having first shown you CAD images and just a few days ago the first photos, Mugen have now released studio photos of their new MRX-5 together with an interview with lead designer and team driver Robert Pietsch. Successful testing in both Europe and Japan has been completed and Mugen Seiki Japan has given the go-ahead to go into full production effective immediately. Robert has been more than satisfied with the intensive test program and feels the new car offers very high traction and lots of steering. The car is really easy to drive and above all is faster than its predecessor.
MSE: Robert, where have to done your testing? Robert Pietsch: Shortly after I received the first prototype of the MRX5 I completed one day of testing on my home track at Rosenheim, Germany. Afterwards I traveled to Italy to continue the test program under perfect conditions at Fiorano for two more days.
MSE: How does such a test program of a new car like the MRX5 proceed? Pietsch: First I started with the MRX4X to get lap times as a reference. Then I did a shake down run with the MRX5 to check whether the car was trimmed out and working properly. After the initial run I made some changes to the car and immediately I was faster in comparison to the MRX4X. I was very happy with this result. My testing in Fiorano was proceeding very well. Step by step I changed the setting of the MRX5: roll bars, spring, roll centre and other usual adjustments. I work systematically though all the steps in my program for testing and I was already fast on the first day in Fiorano then I have ever been.
MSE: What is your general impression, your conclusion of testing? Pietsch: Very satisfying, absolutely. The MRX5 worked flawlessly and reacted precisely to all the set up changes. Turning into corners is extremely good with extremely high traction. I did ongoing testing and the results where very clear all the time.
MSE: What else have you noticed? Pietsch: Well from the very first lap I had the impression that the MRX5 offer better acceleration. This have be verified in back to back tests between the MRX4X and the MRX5 using the same engine and gear ratios. Acceleration and the top speed of the MRX5 are definitely better. Everything runs very free and smooth.
MSE: Which handling characteristics will the racer enjoy the most from the MRX5? Pietsch: I am very convinced that the racers will have great accomplishments with the MRX5. the rear end is very stable, there is plenty of steering, the car is very efficient which creates lots of speed thought the whole corner. The well known quality of the MRX4X has remained constant but at the end of the lap the racer will be faster with the new MRX5!
MSE: Which preferences have you focused on while designing this car? Pietsch: The MRX5 offers many innovations. I took special care to focus on certain aspects. For example, the front and rear belt can be changed with just a little time effort. Changes to the roll centre can be done without any disassembly. Furthermore it is much more practical that the fuel tank be removed upwards and most notably the whole radio tray including the receiver box can be taken off easily by loosening only three screws. Not to forget the highly effective brake on the rear axle. All aspects of this car gain you time on maintenance.
MSE: You can be really proud about your new baby, cant you? Pietsch: Of course I am proud… just a smidge. But first and foremost I am relieved when I received the first e-mail from Mugen Japan telling me that they have been very satisfied with their first test results as well.
MSE: Recently you won the EFRA Grand Prix at Fiorano with the MRX4X, how much MRX5 was already on that car? Pietsch: A lot, especially the power train, the gear ratio and some other miscellaneous parts. The race was a successful test and the result tells its own tale.
MSE: How will the project proceed now? Pietsch: Mugen Seiki will leave nothing to chance. The MRX5 project is a top priority project and the car has to meet the highest standards as well as the highest quality. Most of the parts are already in production and a few parts that have minor changes that will be finished shortly. The manual and similar things have to be completed. The wait is almost over and I can’t wait to get my first kit. I know that lots of nitro racers have waited patiently for the MRX5 and I am sure that they will not be disappointed…very sure!