We’re far removed from the 91-horsepower 1984 Honda Civic Si.
Honda, on the eve of the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, introduced the Si version of the tenth-generation Civic in prototype coupe form. Honda plans to bring the Si to market as a 2017 model next year with both sedan and coupe bodystyles.
Expect very few changes for the coupe when this “prototype” becomes a production car next year. In Honda vernacular, “prototype” is as close to production as a production car can be withoutÂ actually being the production car.
Details are relatively scarce. Honda says the new Civic Si will feature adaptive suspension and active steering for the first time in a Civic. There’ll be a limited-slip differential and, if the prototype’s Honda Factory Performance additions make it to production, 19-inch wheels with 235/35Y rubber.
The 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder introduced as an optional upgrade in the sedan and coupe â€” and as standard equipment on the new 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback â€” is under the hood of the Si with enough power to make the 2017 Civic Si, according to Honda’s Jeff Conrad, “hands down, the fastest, best-handling Si we’ve ever offered to our customers.”
The 1.5T makes as much as 180 horsepower in the non-Si Civic; 190 in the new CR-V. We expect more than 220 horsepower in the production Civic Si, up from the 205 made by the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder in the ninth-gen Civic Si.
As Honda already made clear with the debut of a Civic Type R Prototype at this year’s Paris auto show, the Si will no longer be the highest-performance Civic. The current Type R, not sold in North America, produces 306 horsepower, clearly distinguishing the two performance Civics. The production Type R, built in the UK, will reach the market after the Si variants.
Timothy Cain is the founder ofÂ GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcarÂ and on Facebook.[Images: Honda North America]