The Honda Civic Si Prototype Is Here: Don't Call It Just A Toned-Down Type R


A short-shift six-speed manual is the only transmission option. Sold.

Honda took one more step to filling out the entire 10th generation Civic lineup when it unveiled the Civic Si prototype on the eve of the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Like the Type R that it brought to Paris, the Civic Si shown in Los Angeles is a "prototype." We don’t know how much power its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine will make, although Honda did say that it will offer “high-performance” and “high-torque.” Pricing and availability were also not announced. So, what do we know about the new Civic Si?

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Remember that this is a prototype, which means that some stuff might not make it to production. Here’s what we know will be featured on the production Civic Si. For starters, the only transmission on offer will be a short-shift six-speed manual. Performance upgrades are bountiful and include active dampers, active steering and a limited-slip differential. On the inside there will be new sport seats with red stitching and a stitched “Si” logo. Honda said the interior of the prototype closely mirrors that of the production model. We hope that means the aluminum pedals and red speedometer make it off the prototype. Now, here’s what may get lost in the transition from the Los Angeles Auto Show to the dealership show floor.

The Civic Si prototype features a full performance aero kit. Said kit is lacking to us as it’s only made up of front and rear splitters and a rear wing. You can't see them here, but the brake rotors are drilled. Those definitely won't make production. Other than that, this prototype looks nearly finished. The only optional extra mentioned were high-performance tires which wrap around 10-spoke forged aluminum alloy wheels. Overall the design of the Civic Si prototype looks like a good middle ground between the base models and the Type R. Even with the “aero kit” the Si doesn’t scream boy racer. If anything this design could be called subtle, well, as subtle as a coupe packing a lightweight rear wing and center-mounted polygonal exhaust can be.

Again, pricing and availability we’re not announced but we can do some speculating. The last Si based at about $23,000. Since the Si is the middle child in the Civic family we expect it to start at around $25,000, a price point that makes it just a bit more expensive than the current top-tier Civic coupe. It could even base at a bit more, what with the top-trim Civic hatchback starting at $25,300. Given that the Si prototype doesn’t sound much like a prototype at all we expect to see sales start in early 2017. So, the final question is how powerful will the Si be? The last Si offered 205 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. The 1.5-liter turbo Honda currently offers has a max output of 180 horses.

Honda is not crazy about chasing high horsepower figures, so don’t expect the production Si to be a fire-breather. About 220 horsepower sounds right to us. We’ll do our best to dig up more info with Honda when the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. For now check out these images of the Civic Si and let us know what you think of Honda’s latest take on the spirited sports car.

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