Here’s a little sample to whet your appetite before the Type R main course is delivered.
When Chevrolet and Dodge finally rejoined the muscle car wars in the late 2000s, it was a time to celebrate because it signified that we were once again headed for a golden period of the automobile. So far that’s been proven to be true and submissions like the Challenger Hellcat and Camaro ZL1 being a boon to the world of enthusiasts, but history had yet to repeat itself in the Japanese car segment. Until now that is. Following a few months behind the launch of the Nissan Sentra Nismo is Honda’s latest submission, the Civic Si.
Available in both coupe and sedan body styles, the Japanese sedan is equipped with just the right hardware to help us dip our toes into the impending battle that has yet to come: that of the Japanese sports car. Helping build up to the Honda Civic Type R that will soon follow, the Civic Si gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four engine making 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Those not acquainted with the magic of a manual transmission need not apply because the Civic Si is only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox. With this Si, power isn’t everything. While the 9th generation Civic Si also had 205 horsepower, this 10th generation makes an additional 18 lb-ft of torque.
What is different is how the engine delivers the power, lending its torque as early as 2,100 RPM all the way to 5,000 RPM. To further differentiate the two, Honda altered the rest of the hardware. It’s weight loss regiment remains unspecified but Honda claims this Si is “significantly lighter” than its predecessor. It’s also more rigid as well, allowing the sport-tuned suspension, two-mode adaptive dampers, dual-pinion adaptive electric power steering system, stabilizer bars, and chassis modifications to exploit upmost control out of the Si in the corners. Altering the Si’s flavors is easy, all it takes is a press of a button to engage Sport mode and gear the suspension, throttle, and steering up for the track when Normal mode isn't optimal.
The exterior looks the part too with 18-inch alloy wheels, a two-tone finish, a chrome center-mounted exhaust, LEDs embedded in the large rear decklid spoiler, and low profile tires. Matching that is the interior, which is fitted with bolstered front spot seats finished with red stitching, Si logos, a red driver’s TFT meter and audio system illumination, and aluminum pedals to contrast the Dry Metal Carbon instrument panel trim. Though it starts at the mid $20,000 mark, the Si will feature comfort and convenience features like walk away door locking, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, an electronic parking brake, and a 7-inch audio display touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Though it may not be the Civic we’ve been waiting for (we have our sights on the Type R), the Si is the perfect car for, in Honda’s own words, "the everyday enthusiast." Be on the lookout for the Si next month when it goes on sale. For now you can satisfy your cravings with Honda's own release video.