Civic Si's Less-than-stunning Power Is for Your Own Good, Says Honda

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
civic sis less than stunning power is for your own good says honda

Not everyone was blown away by the new Honda Civic Si’s 205 horsepower, especially after a year of rumors suggesting output could fall in the 220-hp range. While the hotter ( but not hottest) version of Honda’s 10th-generation Civic possesses the same horsepower rating as its predecessor, albeit with significantly less displacement, many Big H aficionados had hoped for more.

Nah, you don’t want that, Honda says. The Si’s massaged 1.5-liter turbo does offer increased torque (192 lb-ft) compared to the previous 2.4-liter model, but the automaker claims the addition of more ponies would have harmed the model.

More power was a possibility, but it would have turned the Civic Si into a moth venturing close to a flame. Honda’s reasoning is pretty straightforward.

Explaining that he was told “you can tune more power into it, but all of that takes away from the durability of the engine,” Rob Keough, the model’s senior product planner, outlined the company’s intentions to Automotive News.

“Honda likes to build their engines to last hundreds of thousands of miles, so they’re working toward that target,” he said. Meaning, if you’re looking for reduced engine life, the shady aftermarket tunes (or an old rotary Mazda) is your best bet.

Durability wasn’t the only consideration. Based on a window sticker spotted last week, it looks like Honda will keep a $10,000 buffer between the Civic Si and its beastly, 306-hp Type R sibling. Dropping a 2.0-liter into the Si — even a considerably milder one — would have ratcheted the MSRP into a less-attainable price range.

Currently, the 2017 Civic Si stickers for just under $25,000. Had the company gone with a larger engine, the price could have ended up pushing $30,000 — well above the model’s traditional range. Still, Keough wouldn’t rule out a hotter Si variant to split the difference between it and the Type R.

“There’s maybe other configurations and things that they can do with this motor,” Keough said. “The market will tell us and then we’ll see what we can do about it.”

[Image: Honda]

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  • Jacob Jacob on Jun 05, 2017

    And yet, Ford Focus ST regularly stickers for under 25K while having a much more powerful 2.0T engine. Honda simply continues Civic's tradition of offering the least power in Si's class, counting mostly on brand aficionados and ricers to buy it.

    • Chan Chan on Jun 05, 2017

      I would buy an Si over a FoST. The Focus has a much less appealing interior, less cabin space and lower reliability rankings. These matter for cars that are ostensibly to be used as daily drivers.

  • Wsn Wsn on Jun 06, 2017

    Is he implying that the NSX's engine won't last?

  • Kevin Oh, the confusion. This just totally shoots my plans of buying an Audi.
  • Kendahl Why no AWD in V8 powered models of the Charger and Challenger?
  • Tassos Again, once more I beg you to SEPARATE your columns into REAL used cars and COLLECTIBLE cars of the day, such as this one.I have no nostalgia for this heap of junk or any other vintage Chevy, even Corvettes. If you find a 50s-60s Lincoln, let me know.
  • Socrates77 I had an 87' I never missed a car so much.
  • Tim Healey Have to check on the Last Call stuff. As for Hornet, will be on sale this year.