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HONDA CIVIC SI PROTOTYPE FIRST LOOK

The 10th-generation Honda Civic lineup got a bit more interesting today with the reveal of the Honda Civic Si prototype, which previews the production 2017 Honda Civic Si.

Though some Honda fans might be too excited for the Civic Type-R’s imminent arrival in the U.S. to care about the less-extreme Si, Honda promises that the new model—debuting at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show—will be its “fastest, most powerful Si yet.”

You might think that means the new Civic Si will be powered by a detuned version of the Type-R’s 2.0-liter turbo-four, but the Civic Si concept actually packs a high-performance version of the turbo 1.5-liter found in higher-trim standard Civics. In addition to being turbocharged and direct-injected, the Si’s engine sports dual variable cam timing (dual VTC). Honda hasn’t revealed exact output for the mill, but being the “most powerful Si yet” means the new model will have to top the 205 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque of the last Si’s naturally aspirated 2.4-liter I-4. That torque figure shouldn’t be hard to beat, as the 1.5-liter turbo-four already makes 190 hp and 179 lb-ft in the 2017 CR-V. The engine in the Si will be backed exclusively by a short-shifting six-speed manual transmission.

 

Although the Type-R will arrive as a hatchback, the 2017 Honda Civic Si will be offered in coupe and sedan body styles. The concept previews the coupe variant, and sports a full Honda Factory Performance (HFP) aero kit complete with front and rear splitters and a rear spoiler. The concept also gets a center-mounted dual exhaust with polygonal tips and turbine-like 19-inch HFP forged alloy wheels wrapped in 235/35-size performance tires. The car is shown in a Rallye Red Pearl finish, a variation of the color offered on the last-gen Civic.

Honda says the Si concept’s interior is very close to production spec, so expect the 2017 Civic Si to get exclusive sport seats with red stitching and embroidered Si logos. Red stitching is also used on the door, panels, steering wheel, and shift boot, which is topped by an aluminum shift knob. The gauge cluster features a red TFT display, and the lighting for the audio system is also red. Finishing off the cabin are aluminum sport pedals and Dry Metal Carbon trim around the instrument panel and across the dash.

“This will be, hands down, the fastest, best-handling Si we’ve ever offered to our customers,” said Honda senior vice president and general manager Jeff Conrad, in a release.

We like the performance of the standard Civic with the 1.5T, so that statement isn’t too hard to believe. Will it bring the sport compact crown back to Honda? We’ll find out when the 2017 Honda Civic Si coupe and sedan launch next year.

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