This week on GT Speed, we feature the Mugen MF408S engine.
The MF408S is an amazing work of engineering destined to power a Formula Nippon machine.
But first, let’s have a quick recap on Mugen.
Founded in the early seventies by Hirotoshi Honda, son of Soichiro Honda, and Masao Kimura, Mugen means “without limit” and such an inspirational name matches their engineering prowess.
The company specializes in tuning and manufacturing parts for racing vehicles, as well as performance parts for the public. They also race Hondas in the Super GT championship. From 1992 to 2000, and up to 2005 Mugen was the exclusive provider of Formula Nippon engines.
The particular V8 we are talking about this week can be found inside the LOLA B99 Formula Nippon race car.
Known as the MF408S, this racing powerhouse is a naturally aspirated 90° flat plane V8, displacing 4000 cubic centimeters, with peak power manifesting itself at 9500 Rpm in the form of over 590 horsepower. The torque figure is equally bonkers, 383 lb-ft at an astonishingly high 7,500 Rpm. As per Formula Nippon regulations, a restrictor plate had to be fitted, there were two options to choose from, 33.4 mm dual openings or a 46.8 mm single one.
Fuel was delivered via Direct Injection, and an EFI Technology Inc ECU took care of sorting out the fuel and ignition mapping. With such high performance and intense periods of workload, it’s no surprised this sky high revving behemoth had to be serviced every 3000 km or a bit over 5000 km at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Even though we refer to it as a behemoth, the MF408S is actually quite compact, measuring only 559 mm long not including the flywheel, that’s well under 2 feet, the height is also reasonably sized, clocking in at 577 mm, again, just under two feet. Aside from its 720 mm width, (about 2 feet and 4 inches), it is quite the compact and well packaged unit, and weighing in at 131 kg means it’s a featherweight as well.
Such power was delivered to the transmission through a five and a half inch quadruple plate carbon clutch.
The MF408S is without a doubt one of those engineering works with a short shelf life, an expendable masterpiece, and this high revving V8 like many things in this life, exists to serve one and only purpose, chasing that ultimate lap in Formula racing.
Hear the screaming eight cylinder opera in the video below.