Honda says this is the most entertaining Civic Si yet.
Ever since the new Honda Civic Sedan and Civic Hatchback were revealed earlier this year, we've been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the sportier Civic Si. We already knew that the Si-badged model would come with a manual but that no hatchback variant would be offered. Well, the wait is over and the new Civic Si underlines Honda's commitment to cater to the enthusiast. Already, news that the Integra will be returning with a manual gearbox has captivated fans, but the Civic Si blends fun and practicality like few other sedans.
We'll start under the skin since that's what the Civic Si is all about. The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower and 192-lb-ft of torque, with the latter on tap between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm.
Peak torque now arrives 300 rpm sooner than before. Interestingly, the previous Civic Si produced slightly more power at 205 hp, but Honda says the new powerplant maintains more output up to its 6,500 rpm redline. Exhaust flow is increased by 27 percent compared to the Civic Touring, with a new dual-coil silencer endowing the Si with a sportier exhaust note. There's also an Active Sound Control system to naturally enhance acoustics from inside the cabin.
Other improvements include a 26% lighter single-mass flywheel with a 30% reduction in inertia. This improves throttle response in the new sedan. Paired with the turbo-four is a six-speed manual gearbox with 10% shorter throws and a shift lever mounting bracket that's more rigid than before.
For the first time, the Civic Si inherits the Civic Type R's rev-matching system. In Sport mode, the throttle will receive a "blip" when a downshift is detected. The Civic has always been a sharp handler and the latest Si will continue that tradition. In fact, Honda says this is the best-handling and most rigid Civic Si yet. Torsional rigidity is up by 8%, bending rigidity increases by 13%, and the spring rates at the back are 54% stiffer compared to the normal Civic Sedan.
Honda has tweaked the steering with a 60% stiffer torsion bar that connects the steering shaft to the steering rack pinion gear.
The brakes are larger than on the regular Civic with 12.3-inch front rotors and 11.1-inch rotors at the back. Finally, a new Individual driving mode allows drivers to individually set preferences for the steering and engine. Overall, it appears Honda has left no stone unturned in ensuring that the Civic Si is better to drive than the more humble Civic.
Outside, the new Civic Si gets a more assertive look. There's a new upper front bumper, a reshaped rear bumper, two oval exhaust tips, a gloss black rear spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Blazing Orange Pearl paint option is unique to the Si.
Inside, there are body stabilizing sport seats and better support for the shoulders and lower thighs. The metal honeycomb dash panel gets Si-specific red trim, and there are sport pedals. A nine-inch HD color touchscreen and a 12-speaker Bose sound system are standard. This sound system includes a subwoofer.
"Civic Si is a performance icon that has offered affordable high-performance for four decades and the new Honda Civic Si continues that legacy," said Dave Gardner from Honda. "It isn't just a blast to drive, it's hands down the best Civic Si we've ever offered to our customers.
The Civic Si will reach Honda dealers later this year but pricing is yet to be announced.