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Honda Civic Si Prototype Review: First Impressions

Honda_Civic-SI-Prototype_AS_AC_05.jpg Honda Civic Si Prototype | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — Honda has taken the wraps off of the final member of the Civic family: the Honda Civic Si Prototype. The Si, which will be offered as a coupe or sedan, bridges the gap between the Type R and the tamer members — sedan, coupe and hatchback — of the Civic family, offering what I would call “accessible performance” at a lower price than the Type R.

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Honda_Civic-SI-Prototype_AS_AC_02.jpg Honda Civic Si Prototype | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

Though this is technically a prototype, what we are seeing on this car is “very close to what will be the production version,” said Sage Marie, a Honda spokesman. He cautioned, though, that “there are some subtle differences,” including the bright red paint, that may not make it to production. Some of the other trim pieces such as the wheels, side skirts and cross-drilled rotors come from Honda’s Factory Performance division and won’t be standard equipment when the 2017 Civic Si sedan and coupe arrive in dealerships next year.

Honda_Civic-SI-Prototype_AS_AC_06.jpg Honda Civic Si Prototype | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

However, I confirmed that two features will make it through to the production version: the rear spoiler and center-mounted polygonal exhaust finisher. These important features will distinguish styling on the Civic Si from its non-Si counterparts. If you miss the Si badge that is semi-hidden in the grille, there aren’t many pieces which scream “Si” and those two features are needed to give it some visual differentiation from the rest of the Civic lineup.

Honda_Civic-SI-Prototype_AS_AC_13.jpg Honda Civic Si Prototype | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

Honda was stingy with the mechanical details for the Si. We know that it will use the same 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the other Civic variants, but we don’t know exactly how much more power they will be able to pull out of it. We will also have to be patient for more details on the active steering and active damper system. One question Honda answered was in regard to the limited-slip differential: It will be mechanical, not electric. And the short-throw six-speed manual will be featured across all Si models.

Honda_Civic-SI-Prototype_AS_AC_15.jpg Honda Civic Si Prototype | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

Honda has boldly proclaimed that this new Si “will be, hands down, the fastest, best-handling Si we’ve ever offered to our customers.” We certainly hope that will be the case as well.

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