Honda says that the latest version of its Civic Si will be the most fun to drive Si yet. It gets a standard stick-shift once again as well as bushings borrowed from the parts bin of the outgoing Civic Type R. It will also get more power under the curve and a flatter torque band, but ultimate horsepower has been cut by five in what is more than a little bit of a surprise.
The 2022 Civic Si starts with the base of the new 11th-gen Civic sedan, meaning a longer wheelbase, wider rear track, and significantly stiffer chassis. To that Honda has added front springs eight-percent stiffer than those on the base sedan and a whopping 54 per cent stiffer at the rear. The move should improve cornering, but also help make the tail more lively and tame understeer.
Dampers are Si-specific and are fitted with reinforced mounts in the front to help deal with the cornering loads of the 235/40R18 tires (and the summer performance tire factory option), though it appears they are no longer the dual-mode adaptive units on the previous Si. Honda has dropped any mention of the two modes from their talk of the different drive modes.
Bushings snagged from the Type R’s suspension are fitted front and rear, Honda says that the front bushings are 83 per cent stiffer than the regular sedan’s. Once you’re up to speed, brake rotors 30.5 mm larger in front and 22.8 mm larger in the rear help get the 2022 Civic Si stopped.
Honda is keeping the Si manual-only, at least for now. The shifter has a throw 10 per cent shorter than before and gains a rev-match feature taken from the Type R to blip on downshifts. Honda has fitted a lighter single-mass flywheel it says will improve response and drivability, and the car still has a helical limited-slip differential to put power to both of the front tires out of corners.
Inside are the usual Si changes including sports seats with more bolstering as well as red accent stitching. The red accents continue into the hexagonal mesh of the new Civic’s dash vents for a cool touch. The car will come with a 9.0-inch touchscreen, digital dash display, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system if you tire of the sports exhaust and piped-in cabin noise.
If you were looking for the power figures, you might want to sit down. Max output is 200 hp, down from 205 in the previous car, and torque from the 1.5-litre turbo-four is the same 192 lb-ft. Honda has instead widened peak torque an additional 300 rpm (from 1,800 through 5,000) and says there is more available power from the 6,000 r.p.m. power peak to redline. Fuel economy is slightly improved, offering 8.7 L/100 km city, 6.4 highway.
No word yet on price or dealer arrivals. If you were hoping for an Si Hatchback, that hasn’t been confirmed either.