Previewed in prototype form last November in Los Angeles, the production-ready 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Sedan have now been revealed. While considerably less intense than the upcoming Civic Type-R, both of these enthusiast-grade offerings promise impressive dynamics while being far better suited to daily driving duties.

The heart of the new Si is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, the first ever force-fed engine in an Si model. Replacing the automaker’s signature VTEC valve actuation system with a new dual variable cam timing setup (Dual VTC), the engine still makes 205 horsepower–same as the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter used in the last Civic Si–but does so at just 5,700 rpm, 1,300 revs lower than before. Even more important, torque is up from 174 lb-ft to 192 lb-ft and now peaks at a mere 2,100 rpm instead of 4,400 revs. Better still, it remains on hand for over 70 percent of the operating range. The new engine is backed by a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission and teamed with a helical cut limited slip differential. This combination should give the new Si some serious off-the-line snap and make it far more adept at in-town cut and thrust maneuvers. 

Confident handling

To ensure the new Civic Si is even more capable when it comes to charging through the twisty roads, Honda fitted the Coupe and Sedan with an upgraded suspension package to take full advantage of its stiffer and lighter structure. The Si has stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, solid front/rear compliance bushings, stronger front upper control arms from the Type-R and new adaptive dampers along with bigger front brakes and 235/40 performance tires wrapped around unique 18-inch alloy wheels. The new Si also features driver-selectable Normal/Sport modes, with the latter adding a bit more edge to the shock tuning, steering feel and throttle response.

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Adding visual distinction, the new Si's exterior design cues start with a bolder black-wing style front fascia that includes larger outboard air intakes and a prominent chrome polygonal center exhaust outlet. Where the Si Sedan boasts upsized rear side vents and a subtle decklid spoiler, the Si Coupe features a full-length light bar and a free-standing wing. Inside, the two share deeply bolstered Si-spec sport bucket seats with red contrast stitching, Dry Metal Carbon instrument panel trim, aluminum sport pedals and unique red gauge graphics and audio system illumination.

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Both Si variants are based on their respective EX-T trim levels and come with a host of comfort/convenience features. Topping the list are a 450-watt/10-speaker Display Audio sound system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and integrated support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Sirius XM and HR Radio. The Si also has dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and rain-sensing wipers. Set to arrive in dealers next month, pricing for the 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Sedan will start “in the mid-$20,000 range.”

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