2017 Honda Civic Si Prototype Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, November 16, 2016
- Honda calls this the fastest, most powerful Civic Si ever
- Coupe and sedan body styles; hatchback will be Type-R
- Turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine
- 6-speed manual gearbox driving front wheels through limited slip differential
- Active steering and suspension
- On sale in 2017
With the introduction of the 2017 Honda Civic Si prototype vehicle at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the company veers from a tradition of high-revving, normally aspirated 4-cylinder engines in favor of sweet, delicious, turbocharged torque.
Though Honda did not share complete details about the car and its engineering in L.A., the automaker did provide enough of a glimpse of what will roll into showrooms early in 2017 to get the salivary glands of sport compact car fans working overtime.
When the new 2017 Civic Si arrives, it will be offered in 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan body styles. Honda is, apparently, reserving the 5-door hatchback for its track-ready Civic Type R treatment.
In Los Angeles, Honda showed the coupe body style. It wore a full Honda Factory Performance (HFP) body kit with front and rear splitters, a rear spoiler, and a center exhaust outlet finisher. The look was capped off with dark-finish HFP 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/35 performance tires.
Beyond the HFP appearance items, the Civic Si receives blacked-out trim, more aggressive bumpers, and a sexy center outlet exhaust.
Inside, Honda employs its traditional Civic Si treatment. The car comes with exclusive sport seats, and the cabin features red stitching and Si logos throughout.
An aluminum shift knob and aluminum pedals convey sporting intent, as do the red instrumentation and audio system lighting. Dry Metal Carbon instrument panel trim is a new twist on a familiar recipe, and the prototype shown in L.A. contained red floor mats.
Photos also confirm heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Historically, the Civic Si has been offered in a single level of specification, and only with a manual transmission. Typically, a navigation system and summer performance tires have been the only upgrades, outside of dealer-installed accessories. For the 2017 Civic Si, an HFP catalog will likely provide buyers with a range of customization options.
Under the Hood:
Honda promises that the 2017 Civic Si will be the most powerful and fastest one it has ever built. However, the company has not divulged official horsepower and torque ratings.
The car is equipped with a direct-injected, turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with dual variable cam timing. Based on the powerplant already employed in other Civic models, which makes 174 horsepower and 167 lb.-ft. of torque, it is a good bet that Honda will be closing in on Volkswagen GTI territory with the new Si.
A short-shift 6-speed manual gearbox delivers power to the front wheels through a limited-slip differential. A Sport button is present on the center console, and Honda introduces active steering and active suspension for the 2017 Civic Si.
Honda provides no details with regard to driver assistance and safety technologies. Other Civic models are available with a Honda Sensing option package that installs forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, a lane departure warning and lane keeping assist system, and adaptive cruise control.
Photos of the new Civic Si also confirm that HondaLink subscription services will be offered through the infotainment system. When active, the subscription supplies automatic collision notification, but HondaLink does not offer increasingly popular safe teen driver functions like speed alerts, curfew alerts, boundary alerts, a find-my-car feature, or driving reports.
Structurally, the Civic Si should receive the same crash-test ratings as the standard coupe and sedan. That’s good news, because both cars earn favorable results in NHTSA and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) assessments.
In addition to HondaLink services, the Civic Si’s infotainment system includes smartphone projection technology including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and can be fitted with a navigation system that supplies digital traffic reports. The system also provides text-messaging support, and an available HondaLink Aha app connects to internet radio from around the world, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
Photos of the new Civic Si also reveal a Brake Hold function, which presumably assists the driver when launching the car on a hill.