When the radical new Civic Type R was dropped by Honda back in September, our collective jaws dropped. It was beautiful, it was nasty, and it was everything eager fans had hoped for—the Dark Knight of Honda performance. And you know what else? The Type R wasn't for everybody.
Frankly, for many, the car is either going to be too expensive or—let's be honest—too hot to handle. Thankfully, there's a middle ground. The Japanese carmaker has unveiled the 2017 Honda Civic Si prototype at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show, capping off the 10th-generation Honda Civic line-up and offering drivers a more reasonable gateway into the upper tiers of Civic performance.
The prototype, which features the same aggressive looks, sleek lines and muscular front-end seen in current-gen Civics, is shown in a hot Rallye Red Pearl paint finish, and flaunts 19-inch 10-spoke forged aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. What's more, the company has been generous enough to give the car the full Honda Factory Performance (HPF) treatment, courtesy of front and rear splitters, a cool rear spoiler and a center-mounted polygonal exhaust finisher.
Inside, the Si features exclusive front sports seats, a red TFT meter, aluminum sports pedals, and audio system illumination. Further accentuating the car's sporty demeanor is red stitching on the seats, doors, steering wheels and leather shift boot, as well as a dry metal carbon fiber instrument panel trim. The company says this is a close preview of what to expect inside the production-spec units.
Engine details have been revealed ahead of the final product, with both the Civic Si Coupe and Sedan being powered by a performance-oriented 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission (yes!). No specific number just yet, but Honda general manager and senior vice president Jeff Conrad says that the new Si will be "hands down, the fastest, best-handling Si" the company has ever put out into the market.
The Honda Civic Si is slated for a 2017 launch. If what we're looking at is anywhere close to what we'll be seeing next year, then we're hopping on the bandwagon.