Honda is dropping Agent Orange in the USA.
Honda made a surprise announcement on its social media platforms earlier today, posting a pic showing the right rear of the all-new Civic Si sedan. This is our first proper glance at the actual car, and tomorrow we'll see it in all its glory.
Even though this is only one image, it already shows us a lot. If the left side matches the right, the Si will have dual exhaust pipes as opposed to the standard Civic sedan, which hides its exhaust pipes. The Si also has a more aggressive rear spoiler and red Si badge. As we reported in August, Honda saved the best color for last, choosing to launch the Si in Blazing Orange Pearl. It borrows from the Civic Prototype, but with even more muscle.
Why are we so amped about a Honda that's not the Type R? Well, the previous Si was epic value for money. It wasn't as hot as the Type R, but the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine still produced 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Most important of all was the slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission sending the power to the front wheels only. It was the classic hot hatch recipe but in sedan format. We know that Honda will stick with this tried-and-trusted formula thanks to leaked dealer information, while the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine will receive a slight power bump, albeit likely not enough to make a vast straight-line performance difference.
Not that this matters as much as driving engagement. We expect a limited-slip front differential to be carried over, and adaptive damping will likely be standard to give the Si that split personality that made it so famous. With sufficient power and a less fussy design, this is a better all-rounder to many than the hardcore Type R.
Before you start hurling insults in our direction, allow us to make a case in defense of our statement. The current Civic Type R is a hyper hatch meant to go head-to-head with the likes of the Golf R and Hyundai Veloster N. It's not as comfortable, and you can't use it to take the kids to school. Sure, it has rear seats, but who wants to be seen in a car that has more wings than the local KFC?
Furthermore, the last Si was an absolute steal. It cost more than a Civic sedan, but way less than the near $40,000 Type R. Pricing started at $25,000, and it was just a second and a bit slower to 60 mph. Think of the Si as dating a supermodel's attractive sister or brother. You get nearly all the benefits but without the temperamental attitude and high maintenance prices.
We can't wait to see what Honda is revealing tomorrow, but if it followed exactly the same recipe as before, the new Si will be a winner.