We’ve been thinking about the upcoming Civic Si for a while now, but Honda hasn’t let slip any details about the eleventh-generation car. Now, the floodgates are open — specs and details on the 2022 Si are out in the open, and boy are they... interesting.
To set a baseline, the 2020 Civic Si (in sedan form) put out 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. It weighed 2906 pounds and came only with a six-speed manual transmission and limited-slip front differential. So how does the new one compare?
For 2022, the six-speed and the limited-slip diff stay, but power and weight have shifted around. Torque is the same peak 192 ft-lbs, though Honda claims it hits 300 rpm sooner than the outgoing model. Peak power is down five horses, to just 200, though apparently the horsepower curve has been flattened at the top end. This might mean a marginally slower car, or it could make for one that loses in the spreadsheets but (with more power under the curve) wins on the track.
Weight is up on the new chassis, to 2952 pounds, but fuel economy sees a slight bump as well — one mile per gallon each, city/highway/combined, to 27/37/31. The new car is incrementally larger, just over an inch longer both overall and in its wheelbase, with slightly more passenger room to show for it. Honda proudly calls the new Si’s wheelbase “the longest in its class,” which may not be something to brag about.
Honda’s big talking point for the new Si is suspension, where increased spring rates should make it much more tail-happy than the standard Civic sedan. Stiffened sway bars should help control body roll, and various bushings pulled from the Type R are likely to increase road feel through the car. The new Si also gets the current Honda Sensing suite of active safety features.
Zero to sixty figures haven’t been released for the new Si, but they’re likely to be similar to the outgoing model. A bit less peak power, but more usable horses across the rev range, likely balance each other out. In a world of 271 HP WRXes and 241 HP GTIs, though, is that enough?
For actual buyers of the Civic Si, it probably is. The Si traditionally costs less than its higher-powered competitors, and serves as an auto enthusiast entry point even before its three-character rivals appear in one’s consideration set. The Si is the first enthusiast car, through which a budding gearhead can learn what they really want.
After daily driving an Si, what do you want more of? Power, fun, but with refinement and class? Trade it up for a GTI. All-out performance prowess, interior squeaks and rattles be damned? Trade the Si for a WRX, and start learning to wind your own vape coils. Maybe it teaches you about the balance of understeer and oversteer, and you decide to go rear-wheel-drive in a Toyota 86 or a Miata.
As long as the price stays low, a 200-horsepower Civic Si won’t be irrelevant. Instead, it can target a more trepidatious proto-enthusiast — serving as the same gateway drug to car culture it always has been.