With the all-new Type R just over a year away, Honda has provided a preview of what to expect in the shape of the North American market only Civic Si.
Once the sportiest model in the States due to the Type R not being offered until the now outgoing model arrived, the Si debuts as a sedan only model after being previously based on three-door hatch and coupe variants.
Based on the top-spec Touring trim grade, the Si’s visual enhancements are comparatively minor with not all if any expected to make it onto the Type R.
Nonetheless, it gets model bespoke matte black ten-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, revised front and rear bumpers, gloss black mirror caps, standard LED head-and-taillights, a gloss black bootlid spoiler, new dual oval tipped exhaust outlets and a model specific colour option called Blazing Orange Pearl.
More extensive are the tweaks underneath the Si’s skin where Honda has improved the torsional rigidity by eight percent, increased the spring stiffness by eight percent at the front and 54% at the rear, while also upping the bending rigidity by 13%.
Along with upgraded brakes, the steering has been sharpened-up, the front and rear bushings and lower rear B-arms sourced from the outgoing Type R and new dampers fitted with the front stabiliser bars being thicker and the upper mounts of the MacPherson struts reinforced in order to take increased loads when going through corners.
Inside, the Si’s interior mirrors its exterior by being discreet in the sporting of model specific touches. These include new sports seats at the front with a raised cushion, a metal honeycomb pattern on the dashboard, red decorative detailing, gloss black accents, alloy pedals and red stitching on the gear lever boot, doors, steering wheel, door panels, armrest and gear knob.
Like the Touring, the Si comes as standard with a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system plus a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster display, as well as the 12-speaker Bose premium sound system. Honda’s Sensing suite of safety and driver assistance systems is also included.
In an unexpected move, Honda has revised the Si’s engine to produce less power, albeit with better delivery than the previous model.
Equipped with a new single-mass flywheel, the 1.5-litre turbocharged engine now produces 147 kW instead of 152 kW with torque unchanged at 260 Nm. According to Honda though, the latter now kicks-in at 300 rpm quicker than the previous Si.
In a further continuation, the Si is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, now with the same rev-matching function as that of the Type R which blips the throttle in Sport mode when shifting down.
Going on sale in the US soon, the Civic Si, like with previous generations, won’t be coming to South Africa anytime soon.