The Honda Civic Si is a sport compact / hot hatch version of the Civic built by the Japanese Honda. The Si trim, which stands for "Sport Injected", was introduced for the third generation of Honda Civics in both Japan and North America, and at the time signified the most powerful Civic available in market (in SiR trim). For the Japanese and European markets, however, the Civic Type R was adopted as the high-performance variant of the Civic, from 1997 (starting with the EK9 hatch) in Japan and from 2001 (starting with the EP3 hatch) in Europe. Contrasting to the track-oriented and spartan Type R, which has less sound deadening and amenities in return for better performance, the Si has been positioned as more of a full-featured sport trim, featuring luxury options such as a sunroof. In Canada, the model known as the Si also included additional features found in the EX and EX-L model in the American market, such as heated side mirrors, but without the sport features.
Honda first adopted the Si badge for the JDM third-generation Civic in November 1984. Mainly offered in hatchback form, the main aesthetic difference for the Si was the slight bulge in the hood, which accommodated for the 1.6-liter I4 DOHC engine. A four-door sedan variant also existed in Japan, but were produced in small numbers and were rare. Designated as ZC in Japan and D16A9 in Europe, the new engine put out 130 hp (97 kW), enabling the car to hit 130 mph and go from 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. Since compact cars at the time typically made less than 100 hp (70 kW), the Si proved popular amongst tuning enthusiasts.
In the United States, a Civic S trim was introduced in 1984, featuring sports seats and reclining rear seats. Although the S retained the semi-independent rear beam with coil springs for the suspension, a rear stabilizer bar was added to improve handling. Unlike the JDM Civic Si, the S trim used the same carbureted 1.5L EW1 engine as the base and the DX trims. 1985 finally saw the US release of the Si trim with the Civic CRX Si, which featured a fuel-injected, 1.5L SOHC EW3 engine making 91 horsepower, a monotone paint scheme, 14-inch alloy wheels with 185/60R14 high-performance tires, a standard power sunroof and sport seats. The comparatively quicker inline-four engine propelled the CRX Si from 0-60 in under 9 seconds.
In 1986, the Si trim was extended to the Civic hatchback, offering the same performance of the CRX Si but with four-seats. Added improvements for the Civic Si hatchback included a removable glass moonroof, a five-speed manual gearbox, tilt steering wheel, a full-width taillight panel, a color-keyed front airdam and a roof spoiler. Like the CRX Si, the Si hatchback was powered by the same 91 hp (68 kW), 12-valve SOHC engine designated EW4/D15A3 (the latter code was used for the 1987 model year but with the same specs). The Civic Si also saw a release in New Zealand and Australia in 1987, and sharing similar specs to the American-market Si.
The second generation Civic Si shared a chassis with the 2nd generation Honda CRX. The American-market Si sported a 105 hp (78 kW) D16A6 engine and weighed in at 2,286 lb, achieving a factory 0-60 of 8.7 seconds. The main standard features of the Si trim were the power sun roof/moon roof, tachometer, passenger door mirror, color matched bumpers, dash clock, larger exhaust, front and rear anti-roll bars, 14" wheels and sport seats. Additional options were air conditioning and fog lights, as well as the different Honda Genuine Accessory alloy wheels. In Europe and Australia, a more powerful D16A8 engine was used instead, which made 122 hp (91 kW).
Compared to the previous generation, the Civic Si saw an improvement in handling, in part due to the double-wishbone suspension at all four corners and lower wind drag due to the sleeker body shape.
Initially, the Civic Si hatchback was absent from the line-up, with only the CRX Si offered for the 1988 model year. That changed, however, for 1989, and the Civic Si hatchback was reintroduced, along with a 3-hp upgrade for the D16A6 engine across all Si trims (making 108 hp). As with all other trims, the Civic Si received a slight visual upgrade in 1990, featuring revised bumpers and tail lights.
In the later years of the second generation, the JDM version adopted a 1.6L B16A engine that produced 158 hp (118 kW), and was the first to adopt the name "SiR" instead of Si. With its light weight, independent suspension and powerful engine, the car was well-received globally, receiving “Golden Steering Wheel Award” from the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, and ranking first in France’s L’Automobile Magazine 1989 survey on car quality and reliability. The European model badged as a "1.6i-VT" used an even more powerful B16A1 engine, which had a 9200 RPM redline and made 189 hp (141 kW).
Along with the introduction of the B-series, the second-generation Si saw the introduction of Honda's variable valve timing and electronic lift control technology, or VTEC. By providing two different camshaft profiles--one for fuel economy, one for performance--the VTEC engines set a high-revving, naturally-aspirated precedent for future performance variants of the Honda Civic.
Due to the difference in engine output and modification potential between the American and JDM models, the second-generation Si sparked a popular trend of engine swapping, where tuners would replace the D-series power plant (whose limiting factor for power were its weak connecting rods) with the stronger B-series motor.
The American-market Civic Si of 1992-1995 used a 125 hp (93 kW) / 106tq single-overhead cam D16Z6 VTEC engine, which enabled the car to hit 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. VTEC activated on the intake side and not the exhaust side, which was the result of the spark plug blocking the area where the cam follower would be. Standard equipment included 14-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, front/rear disc brakes, tachometer, dash clock, power sliding moonroof, cruise control, power mirrors, power steering, and driver's side airbag. In 1994, a passenger side airbag and rear speakers were added.
Again, different regions adopted different powerplants - the European and Peruvian Si's used a 130 hp (97 kW) D16A9 engine. At this time, however, the Si was not the most powerful variant of the Civic in Europe; Honda introduced to the region the Civic VTi, which featured a 158 hp (118 kW) B16A engine. The JDM version SiR carried an even more powerful B16A engine, which made 168 hp (125 kW). Civics in Japan using the SiR name included the EG6 (hatch) and EG9 (sedan) Civics as well as the CR-X Del Sol.
After a brief hiatus, the Civic Si reappeared in 1999 with the VT badge being adopted in Europe, and the Type R badge being adopted in Japan for the sports variant of Civics, the Si became primarily an American badge for the 6th generation of Civics. The 1999 Civic Si trim featured a 1.6-liter B16A2 engine that made 160 hp (120 kW) at 7,600 RPM and 111 ft-lbs. of torque at 7,000 RPM in a car that weighed roughly 2,600 lb. Combining a high-reving engine, good fuel economy (27/31 city/hwy MPG), independent suspension at all four corners, and a more popular coupe form, the trim garnered a dedicated following in spite of its short production cycle. It can go 0-60 in 7.5 seconds.
Changes from the standard Civic included stiffer, progressive-rate springs, stiffer front and rear anti-roll bars, and a tower brace, which contributed to a flatter-cornering ride. Aesthetic exterior changes from LX/EX models were minimal, with the Si trim featuring 15-inch wheels, a subtle chin-spoiler, side sills, and Si badging. For the interior, the fourth generation Si had tilt adjustment for the bottom cushion, a standard CD player, sunroof, power windows and door locks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, and red-faced instrumentation with Si branding.
Displacement (CC): 1595Compression: 10.2:1Horsepower: 160 hp @ 7,600 rpmTorque: 111 ft·lb @ 7,000 rpmRedline: 8,000 rpm; 8,200 rpm cutoff
Vehicle Color Selections:
Electron Blue Pearl
Flamenco Black Pearl
Vogue Silver Metallic (Canada only)
Only EX sedan, 99-00 SiR (Canada), and some 96-98 EX coupe Civics came equipped with an anti-lock braking system; the 99-00 Civic Si did not have this feature except the Australian version sold as the VTi-R.
This was the last generation of the Civic Si to feature double-wishbone suspension to the front. Subsequent Si trims have since adopted the less-expensive MacPherson struts.
In 2002, the Civic Si received a complete redesign and returned to form as a hatchback. The body shape of this model was based on the "New Bullet-Form" concept, which aimed to create a more dynamic look and provide greater stability while traveling on highways or winding country roads. The interior layout also distinguished itself from other Civic Si generations with a dash-mounted shifter. Based on a platform manufactured at the Swindon plant in England, the hatchback was launched around the world in many different trims, most notably as the Civic Type R in Europe and Japan.
Shifting away from the B-series engine, the fifth generation Civic Si adopted the K-series K20A3 engine, which put down 160 hp (119 kW) at 6,500 RPM and 132 lb·ft (179 N·m) of torque at 5,000 rpm. With a redline of 6,800 RPM, the Si distanced itself from the narrow, high-RPM powerband engine of its predecessor, and as a result saw a 20 percent increase in torque. Performance was relatively underwhelming compared to the competition; the switch to MacPherson struts from double-wishbone suspension resulted in less responsive handling, and a near-150 lb increase in weight to 2,744 lb contributed to slower acceleration than the lighter '99-'00 Si. Much of the weight gain is attributed to the chassis' stouter structure when compared to the previous generation hatchback, with the '02 Si boasting an increase in torsional rigidity by 95 percent and a bending rigidity increase of 22 percent.
With the increased chassis rigidity compensating for weight gain, the 5th-generation Civic Si saw roughly the same performance numbers as the previous generation Si, with 7.6 seconds to 60 mph and 15.8 seconds at the quarter mile. Other factors adversely impacting performance included the lack of an LSD (limited slip differential) and having to shift into third gear to get to 60. First gear ends at about 30, second ends at 55, and third ends at 82 mph (132 km/h).
The '04-'05 models received minor revisions. Cosmetic changes included revised headlight (dual bulb setup) and taillight designs, standard side skirts, and an option for a HFP. The suspension was updated with a change from 4 lug to 5 lug bolt pattern, a larger rear sway bar, and a change from the 15-inch wheels (195/60-15) to the 16-inch wheels (205/55-16). The interior received more silver accents in place of the chrome ones (the lock switch).
The Honda chassis code for the Si and Type-R models is EP3. In Canada it is referred to as the Honda Civic SiR, and was discontinued in 2005.
The Si was redesigned for the 2006 model year along with all other Civic trims, bringing about significant changes since the previous generation. The new car comes with a 2.0 liter K20Z3 i-VTEC engine that produces 197 hp (147 kW) and 139 ft·lbf (188 N·m) of torque, while also including a 6-speed manual transmission (an automatic option is unavailable) with a helical limited slip differential. Spring and dampening rates 40% stiffer than non-Si trims and stiffer sway bars have bolstered the Civic Si's handling, with the car achieving 0.90 g of lateral acceleration on the skidpad. It is also the quickest Civic Si off the line, with a factory 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds according to Honda, but with some tests posting times as quick as 6.3 seconds. Standard features include a moonroof, a seven-speaker 350-watt sound system, 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/45R17 Michelin all-season tires, and key-less trunk access.
In Canada, the Acura CSX Type-S was initially offered, which carries additional luxury options including leather seating.
The 2007 model changes for the Civic Si include the addition of the Si trim for sedans, vehicle stability assist (VSA) (not available on Canadian models), darker silver wheels, body-color grille, a deck lid spoiler, reversed red/black coloring on the secondary gauge cluster, and Si-embroidered front floor mats. The introductory price of the Si Coupe increased by $800 to the MSRP of $21,090.
For the 2008 model year, the Civic Si received minor tweaks that include even darker wheels than the 2007 model and a new shift boot with red stitching. Mechanical changes included a new tire pressure monitor system, a new rear upper arm that decreases the amount of rear camber, and a lowered spring rate for the coupe to match the sedan. This was also the first year the sale of the Civic Si Sedan began in Canada.
Vehicle Color Selections:
Fiji Blue Pearl (Si-exclusive color, replaced by Dyno Blue Pearl in 09)
Galaxy Grey Metallic (replaced by Polished Metal Metallic in 09)
Habanero Red Pearl (Si-exclusive color, replaced by Redline Orange Pearl in 09)
Nighthawk Black pearl (replaced by Crystal Black Pearl in 09)
Alabaster Silver Metallic
Civic Si Sedan
Honda introduced the Civic Si Sedan for North America in 2007; previously, only the JDM market had been offered Si Sedans. Debuted at the Chicago Auto Show, the Si sedan concept featured larger 18-inch alloy wheels than its coupe counterpart, along with 4-piston Brembo brakes, and large cross drilled brake rotors. The production version lacked such concept accouterments, and the Si Sedan is mechanically almost identical to the coupe except for 60lb increase in curb weight and the extra length due to a larger wheelbase. The minor increase in weight of the Civic Si sedan is offset by its slightly-more even front/rear weight distribution percentage, resulting roughly equal performance; the sedan has a 60/40 distribution, compared to the coupe's 61/39.
Civic Mugen Si Sedan
2008 Honda Civic Si MUGEN sedan
The 2008 model year also brought into production the limited-edition 2008 Civic Mugen Si Sedan, which was announced at the 2007 SEMA auto show. The new Mugen sedan came only in Fiji Blue Pearl, and featured a higher-flowing cat-back exhaust, track-tested sport suspension, an exclusive Mugen grill, an exclusive shift knob, Mugen Si badges on the exterior and interior, and a Mugen body kit custom designed for the American trim. Production was limited to only 1000 units, and the car carried an MSRP of $29,500. Even with additional features, the road tests at Shannonville showed the performance of the Mugen Si to be roughly equivalent to the standard Civic Si.
For the 2009 model year, the Honda Civic underwent a mid-model refresh, with changes for the Si that include a revised front bumper and grill, a new 5-spoke 17-inch wheel design, standard foglights, cleared amber signals for the headlights, revised sedan tail lights, standard USB MP3 adapter, and chrome trunk trim for the sedan.