Honda pulled the covers off the all-new 2022 Honda Civic Si, which it proudly refers to as the "new benchmark for sport compact sedans." Boasting a tuned engine, manual transmission, lighter components, more aggressive styling, and several tricks borrowed from the Civic Type R, it sounds like the new Si is trying its best to be a delight on and off the track.
Let's start with the party piece first: the six-speed manual transmission. Like with previous generations, the 2022 Si will only be available with a manual, which Honda claims has been updated for improved feel and performance. A new, more rigid mounting bracket has been installed to support the shift lever, which reportedly offers 10 percent shorter throws.
These sportier throws will be especially appreciated when downshifting into corners, as the new Si features a rev-matching system derived from the Civic Type R. The feature automatically blips the throttle on downshifts with the same 430-millisecond response time as its bigger sibling. Even the new leather-wrapped aluminum shift knob is similar to the one in the Type R, which Honda claims contributes to the improved feel of the new Si.
The turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine carries over from the Civic Touring, but here it offers a considerable power and torque bump to the stock 158 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. In Si trim, the four-banger produces 200 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 192 lb-ft. from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm. The "updated high-output VTEC engine," as Honda calls it, also promises enough tweaks to make it more enjoyable and quicker.
For starters, the motor's peak torque arrives 300 rpm sooner than in the non-Si Civic, enhancing the sedan's acceleration off the line and out of tight corners. Honda claims performance is also enhanced at the top of the rev range, where the Si engine maintains more output between peak horsepower at 6,000 rpm and redline at 6,500 rpm. A single-mass flywheel that's 26 percent lighter than the outgoing dual-mass unit contributes to a 30-percent reduction in inertia, also contributing to the car's acceleration.
The Si has always been more about handling than outright power, and the new-gen model doesn't deviate from that. According to Honda, the 2022 model is the most rigid Civic Si ever, boasting an eight percent increase in torsional rigidity and a 13 percent increase in bending rigidity compared to the previous model. This chassis performance is aided by a standard limited-slip differential, and spring rates that are eight percent stiffer in the front and 54 percent stiffer in the rear (compared to the traditional Civic sedan).
Up front, the MacPherson struts feature reinforced upper mounts to properly handle increased cornering loads, while front and rear stabilizer bars are now thicker (27mm front, 18mm rear) in order to minimize body roll when cornering. The front bushings, upper arms, and lower B-arms, too, are sourced from the Type R and are 79 percent stiffer than the ones found in the current-gen EX sedan.
Honda claims that steering feel has been improved by using a torsion bar connecting the steering shaft to the steering rack pinion gear that's 60 percent stiffer. This has also been sourced from the Type R. Lastly, the Si gets larger brakes than the base Civic, with rotors measuring 12.3 inches up front and 11.1 in the rear. That's a difference of 1.2 inches versus stock in the front and 0.9 inches in the rear, which combined with 235/40R18 all-season performance tires standard should help the Si live up to its persona. Summer performance tires are available as an option.
When it comes to styling, the Si gets simple yet important touches inside and out, including an Si-exclusive Blazing Orange Pearl paint color. In the exterior, the front bumper is replaced by one that's sportier and slightly more aggressive, while the rear bumper features cutouts for the performance-enhancing (27-percent increased flow) exhaust system with dual oval tips. A small deck-lid spoiler adds a nice, sportier touch. Ten-spoke, 18-inch matte-black wheels are standard for Si.
Inside, the Si gets sport seats with increased bolstering and built-in head restraints, while the lower cushion has been raised by a half-inch in order to improve thigh support for longer drives. Contrast red stitching also makes an appearance across the cabin, while Honda claims that touchpoints have been treated to nicer materials for a premium feel.
Honda did not divulge a specific sale date for the Si, only claiming that it is coming to dealers nationwide later this year.
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