2017 Honda Civic Si has less power but is lighter and offers stiffer packaging

Article by Christian A., on April 14, 2017

Just recently, Honda released the new 2017 Civic Si but it seems like the updates are a bit underwhelming for the fans. It has been a while since it was reported that the Si will be powered by the same 1.5-liter turbocharged engine used in the Civic line. Everyone began to expect that it will be the “fastest, most powerful Si” (as per Honda’s claim) – but think again. If you’re thinking that powerful is synonymous to super-powered Si, then you better not get your hopes up just yet.

So, what did Honda mean when they said “most powerful”? It is actually a reference to the engine’s capability of producing a maximum of 192 lb.-ft. of torque, much more than the usual Si’s peak torque (i.e. the last Si’s 174 lb.-ft.) but with only 205 horsepower. This may be quite disappointing for the Civic Si, but at least peak power is achieved at 5,700 rpm or 1,200 revs more than the outgoing model, while maximum torque comes in at 2,100 rpm ‘til around 5,000 rpm – which is actually quite decent, considering it is 70 percent of the engine’s rev range. The 2017 Civic Si only comes with a six-speed manual transmission, but in theory, it seems like it will take “less rowing” to keep the driving experience quite exciting.

The peak numbers may not be that impressive as we all expected it to be. On a positive note, the low and mid-range power levels, where majority of drivers spend their motoring time, will now become livelier. The new Civic Si has a more rigid body featuring dual-pinion adaptive electric power steering, sport-tuned suspension, an adaptive damper system, 12.3-inch front brakes, and 235/40 R18 rubber wheels with optional performance tires. Despite this, the new Civic Si is significantly lighter than the outgoing model. To cope with both power and steering duties, the front tires is aided by a helical limited-slip differential.

There are also changes on a few of the Si’s underpinnings including stiffer springs with bigger front and rear stabilizer bars. It also makes use of the upper control arms from the Civic Type R. It has two modes – Normal and Sport – allowing drivers to adjust suspension damping, steering input and throttle response.

The new Civic Si looks exactly as it was presented (as a prototype) a few months ago during the LA Auto Show. It also features bolstered seats with standard Si red trim, a 7-inch touchscreen display with standard Apple Carplay and Android Auto and audio and HVAC functions, heated seats, remote start, and rain-sensing wipers.

Civic Type R is also coming soon, and enthusiasts and experts alike are curious as to how it would affect the Si market. Release dates for both cars are made as far as possible from each other to avoid unnecessary competition.

However, when it is pitted against the likes of the Ford Focus ST with 252 horsepower and Volkswagen Golf GTI with an optional 220 horsepower, the Si’s low power is at a disadvantage.

No one expected the 2017 Civic Si to cough out only 205 horsepower but at least it is now lighter and with a stiffer packaging. But until the day comes when we get first-hand experience, we’ll reserve further judgement. Prices for both sedan and coupe start come in the mid-$20,000 range and will hit dealers next month.

Press Release

Honda Reveals 2017 Civic Si Coupe and Sedan in Dynamic Global Debut Video

The all-new Honda Civic Si Coupe and Civic Si Sedan debuted today in a global reveal video broadcast on Honda's YouTube channel at honda.us/2017CivicSiReveal. The exciting and dynamic video features the stylish, personal two-door coupe and sleek, accommodating four-door sedan - both sporty Si variants are designed for the everyday enthusiast. The new Civic Si Sedan and Coupe will go on-sale next month with an MSRP in the mid-$20,000 range.

"The 2017 Honda Civic Si is our first turbocharged Si and sets a new sporty compact benchmark in terms of agility and precise handling while building toward the launch of the Type R as the final chapter in our epic 10th-generation Civic story," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president automobile division, American Honda.

Powertrain and chassis

Powering the Civic Si is a high-performance, high-torque 1.5-liter, directed-injected and turbocharged DOHC in-line 4-cylinder engine with dual variable cam timing (dual VTC). Mated to a short-throw, 6-speed manual transmission, the powertrain provides a thrilling new driving experience with more low-end grunt and increased torque output across the engine's full rev range compared to the previous Si. Peak horsepower of 205 horsepower1 arrives 1300 rpm lower in the rev range, and the increased peak torque of 192 lb-ft2 (+18 lb-ft) is produced 2300 rpm earlier and sustained over 70 percent of the rev range.

Allowing full utilization of the powertrain, the 2017 Civic Si is significantly lighter than the previous generation model and features a more rigid body including highly upgraded chassis and drive components. These upgrades include a dual-pinion adaptive electric power steering system with variable ratios, sport-tuned suspension, an adaptive damper system, a helical limited-slip differential, larger 12.3-inch front brake rotors and wider 235/40 R18 tires with a performance tire option. In addition to adaptive dampers, suspension upgrades include stiffer spring rates, more rigid stabilizer bars (+30 percent front, +60 percent rear), solid front and rear compliance bushings, and ultra-rigid front upper control arms shared with the Civic Type R.

Allowing the driver to choose vehicle power and chassis dynamic characteristics according to their tastes and the driving environment, the 2017 Civic Si now features two driving mode options: Normal and Sport. From the more comfort-oriented yet well controlled default Normal Mode, the Sport Mode adjusts the suspension damping characteristics plus steering and throttle response for a more taut and direct driving experience.

Sporty design and styling

Upping the sporty style quotient from the standard Civic Sedan and Coupe, the Si models feature an aggressive black "wing" front fascia with larger side air intake features, 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels with a model-exclusive two-tone finish, wearing 235mm-wide, low-profile tires, and a chrome center-mounted polygonal exhaust finisher. At the rear, the Si Sedan includes larger side vent features and a deck lid spoiler incorporating a LED brake light. The Si Coupe continues the Civic Coupe's distinctive full-width light bar and adds a prominent raised spoiler.

The Civic Si interior features Si-exclusive bolstered front sport seats with red stitching, including stitched Si logos. The red sport stitching carries through to the doors, steering wheel and leather shift boot with aluminum shift knob. The Si interior also features a red driver's TFT meter and audio system illumination, aluminum sport pedals and Dry Metal Carbon instrument panel trim.

Interior Comfort, Convenience and Connectivity

The new Civic Si variants offers premium comfort and convenience features building off of the EX-T Civic Sedan and EX-T Civic Coupe, including:

Electronic parking brake
Walk away door locking
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Heated front seats
Accommodating modern connectivity needs, the new Civic Si also includes a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen that serves as the nerve center for control of audio, HVAC and other functions. The Display Audio is integrated with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ platforms, providing seamless integration of smartphone features and functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities, and access to a host of Apple- or Google-approved smartphone apps. All Si models feature a 450-watt, 10-speaker premium sound system with AM/FM, SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio™ and Pandora® capability.

Safety

The 2017 Civic Si Coupe and Sedan are designed to provide a high level of collision safety performance in a wide variety of collision scenarios, including offset and oblique-angle frontal collisions as well as side and rear impacts. The Civic's safety performance starts with its class-leading forward visibility and precise, stable and predictable steering, handling and braking performance. Standard four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control and Agile Handling Assist further enhance dynamic stability and emergency maneuvering and braking performance. The Civic Si targets the highest NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score.

Manufacturing

The 2017 Civic Si Coupe and Sedan for the U.S. market will be produced at Honda's plant in Ontario, Canada, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Its engine is produced in Anna, Ohio using domestic and globally sourced parts, at the largest automobile engine plant in Honda's global production network.

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