There’s a running joke online that Americans can’t drive manuals, but in reality that can’t be farther from the truth – because aside from the upcoming Honda Civic Type R, they are also pretty much the only one to get the enthusiast-focused Civic Si, and the latest-generation model has just been unveiled in the States.
Honda calls the 11th-generation Honda Civic Si (for Sports Injected) the “best-handling, best-equipped, and most fun-to-drive Civic Si ever”, thanks to a bunch of performance upgrades including a six-speed manual gearbox with rev-matching technology that was inherited from the Type R.
Powering the Civic SI is a revamped 1.5-litre turbocharged inline-four engine, now making 202 hp and 260 Nm of torque. While the horsepower figure has dropped marginally (compared to the outgoing model), Honda says that the peak torque now comes 300 rpm lower, aiding in the car’s power delivery and launches.
The engine should also feel more responsive thanks to a new flywheel that’s 26% lighter than before, and the transmission also boasts stiffer shifts and 10% shorter throws to improve shift feel.
Even the exhaust of the Honda Civic Si has also been upgraded with a dual-coil silencer system that increases gas flow by 27% (compared to the Civic Touring), so it should sound quite a bit better. But if that’s not boy-racer enough for you, there’s also an active engine noise generator in the cabin that’s also supposedly upgraded for a wider range of engine speeds.
On the handling front, the all-new Honda Civic Si benefits from a stiffer body that boasts 8% more torsional rigidity and 13% more bending rigidity than the outgoing model. The suspension has also been optimised with 8% stiffer fronts and 54% stiffer rear springs compared to the standard Civic, while the dampers and front MacPherson struts have been tuned specifically for the Si to handle increased cornering loads.
For stability, the rear track of the all-new Civic Si has been increased by 12.7 mm, and the front compliance bushings (sourced directly from the Civic Type R) also boast a 79% increase in stiffness compared to that of the regular Civic sedan. The torsion bar connecting the steering shaft to the pinion gear meanwhile has been stiffened by 60% to improve steering feel.
To bring all that to a stop, the all-new Civic Si also gets bigger brakes measuring 12.3 inches up front and 11.1 inches at the rear, helped by standard-fit 235/40R18 performance tyres.
To differentiate it from the regular Civic sedan, the Si gets a sportier 10-spoke 18-inch wheel design as standard, finished in a “Si-specific” matte black colour. There’s also a subtle lip extension on the front bumper, a honeycomb mesh grille up front, as well as a slightly reworked rear bumper to make space for the two large oval exhaust tips.
The boot lid spoiler, wing mirrors, as well as window surrounds are all finished in black to contrast with the vibrant Blazing Orange Pearl exterior colour, which is exclusive to the Civic Si.
Inside, the Honda Civic Si gets several model-specific touches to mark it out as the sportier variant, including red contrast stitching all around, red accents on the honeycomb horizontal dashboard trim, sports pedals, as well as a variant-specific sports seats with integrated headrests and better thigh and shoulder support.
Equipment wise, the Civic Si also gets pretty much all of the range-topping gear, including a seven-inch digital instrument display, nine-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 12-speaker Bose sound system, and the full suite of Honda Sensing active driver assistance features.
No pricing is announced yet, but Honda USA is scheduled to have the car in dealerships before the end of the year.