Having amassed a huge following of sport compact enthusiasts since its introduction in 1984, the many Honda Civic Si fans around the globe can look forward to a completely new beast for the 2017 model year. Amid several significant changes, the total redesign utilizes the first turbocharged powertrain seen on the platform providing a torquier and broader power band than any example previous.
More on performance in a bit. Like previously, the Si is available as either a coupe or sedan, but the car is significantly wider than before with a lateral track increase of 34 millimetres at the front and 33 millimetres at the rear to provide extra stability. Despite the extra width, weight has dropped by eight kilograms due to use of stronger and lighter body and chassis components.
Based upon their standard Civic counterparts, the Si features catchier exterior styling elements like larger blacked out front grille and bumper air vents, integrated diffusers, rear spoiler, centre-exit exhaust and unique 18-inch wheels. Bolstered sport seats, leather aluminum accents, and plenty of contrast red stitching can be found inside the cabin.
Under the hood, a higher-output version of the Civic’s 1.5-litre engine is installed cranking out 205 horsepower. That figure may seem familiar because, yes, the number is the same as the last generation, however the driving experience is significantly improved since an additional 18 lb-ft of torque (192) is produced, at a much earlier rpm, generating greater acceleration throughout the rev range. A six-speed manual transmission is the only option.
At the core of any Si-badged vehicle is a snappy, well-handling suspension system. This newest offering has performance-tuned setup with stiffer spring rates and roll bars, a two-way adaptive dampers as well as a limited-slip differential to ensure there’s always plenty of traction.
Honda has added a seven-inch Driver Information Interface to display turbocharger boost pressure, lap times, G-meter and other performance-related readouts. Additional comfort and convenience tech includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, digital climate control and a 452-watt, 10-speaker stereo.
The 2017 Honda Civic Si is on sale now with an MSRP of $28,490 for the sedan and $28,890 for the coupe.