The Honda Civic Si is a great practical performance car. I just wish you could get the current model in a hatchback body as well as a sedan. Somebody at Honda, at least in Japan, agrees. Meet the Civic RS prototype—it's a six-speed Civic hatch like the Type R but looks less hardcore.
Honda has not published many details on this thing at all, but it is part of the automaker's showing at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon (also known as the Tokyo Auto Show). Here's what Google Translate did with the Japanese elevator pitch:
"Adding more polish to the "Joy of Dancing" and working on it for this Fall release."
Hm. Polished joy of dancing ... OK.
Looks like we've got a Civic hatch with some cool aero, Civic Si wheels (or close to them), and basic disc brakes. This is definitely not going to be above a Type R in performance or power, or it'd have big honking calipers and a hood scoop or three.
It'd stand to reason that it will run the 1.5-liter turbocharged L15 engine we see in the Si, possibly tuned to make a little extra oomph from the factory. It's long since been established that there's power and sharpness on the table with this engine. Honda tuner Hondata can already take a stock 11th-gen Civic Si and give it improved turbo spool, better throttle response, and increased power and torque in the midrange for a drivability upgrade just with computer adjustments on 91 octane fuel.
I bet we'll see some small tweaks along those lines with the production version of this Civic RS, along with maybe some stiffer bushings for handling responsiveness and maybe an altered exhaust note.
There's no info on what this car will cost or where exactly it'll be available, though Honda Japan has posted "this fall release" so I guess we'll learn more by the end of the year. But given the fact that it's being trotted out at the Tokyo Auto Salon with no English-language press release, I'm guessing it will not make it to the American market. But, maybe! Or maybe at least we'll be able to source some of these parts stateside so industrious enthusiasts can copy this setup themselves.
Correction: I foolishly said the L15 was 2.0 liters — brain fart, clearly it's 1.5, it's right in the name. Sorry!
Got a tip? Send it in: firstname.lastname@example.org