Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

An orange 2022 Honda Civic Si is shown from the side driving through a city.

Racing Back Into the Driver’s Seat of the Honda Civic Si

While walking through the used car lot at the certified pre-owned Honda dealer, a black two-door 2017 Honda Civic Si Hatchback catches your eye, taking you way back in time down memory lane. Back when you worked nights and weekends in between school, flipping burgers at McDonald’s to make enough money to support the modifications you felt were an absolute necessity for your 1991 Rio Red Honda Civic Si Hatchback. You and your Si shared so many memories throughout high school together. From the daily trips to the mall after school, walking around with friends, and trying all of the samples in the food court; to driving yourself to junior prom and then to your senior graduation, you two shared many memories. As you find yourself walking towards the used black Honda Civic Si at the dealership, you realize that since you parted ways with that Rio Red Si after college, you haven’t had a connection to a car quite like that since.

The Life of the Iconic Honda Civic Si

It is hard to believe how many years the Honda Civic Si has been around. Granted, Honda put production on hold here and there, but the Si keeps coming back. Why? Because it makes that much of an impression on people just like it had with you, which is why every time you see one, no matter the model year or the condition, you feel drawn to it.

When Honda debuted the Civic S in 1984 for the 1985 model year, as a semi-sport edition, it instantly became a hit among gearheads alongside the Prelude and CRX Si models released at the same time. So, of course, for 1986, Honda transformed its Civic S into the first Civic Si by adding the fuel-injection system to it. From then on, the Civic Si continued to be a fan favorite for years to come, even through its “dark ages.”

Before Honda dropped the Civic Si for a few years in the United States in 1996, it had gone through a few transformations. For 1988, the hatch was removed, but only for a year. In 1989 it regained the hatch and received a few modifications to make it look more sporty, like wider tires and a small wing above the rear window. With an upgraded VTEC 1.6-liter engine for the fifth-generation series in 1992, the Si hatchback could now produce 125 horsepower versus its original 91 horsepower. This generation was also upgraded to have front and rear disc brakes for better performance in all conditions and made them less likely to overheat or lock up with heavy braking.

For the sixth generation, the Honda Civic Si was unavailable in the United States until 1999, creating a “dark age” for the Civic Si’s enthusiasts. You can only imagine the amount of excitement that was building for its return. However, for those who preferred the hatchback, once the Civic Si did return, the hatchback was no more, and it was only available as a coupe. Although it returned with a brand new appearance, the era of the sixth-generation series became known as the best years for the Honda Civic Si.

The exciting Si coupe only hung around for two years before going back into the dark for another year. When it returned from its second “dark age” in 2002, it returned, once again, with a new appearance. This time, the Si appeared, modeling the hatchback body with three doors, borrowed from the European Si design. This new version, unfortunately, was not as popular as its predecessors. Although it was a worthy spectacle with its unique body, this generation for the Civic Si did not quite hold up to previous models regarding performance. Ultimately, this period between 2002 and 2005 became known as the low point in the Civic Si’s history.

Once Honda got the Civic Si past the valley of its life, it was on the rise in popularity, once again for being an affordable and fun ride. Honda ditched the hatchback for another time in 2006 and brought back the beloved coupe. And along with a bigger and better engine, in 2007, it was released as a sedan for the first time. The sedan body style was perfect for the Civic Si’s long-time followers. It gave them a family-friendly version of their beloved Si, allowing them the opportunity to share a part of their past with their new families while bringing their inner race car driver out to dream again.

The red and black interior of a 2022 Honda Civic Si shows two rows of seating and the steering wheel.

A Dream Come True: The First Civic Si Race Car Prototype

Almost everyone goes through a stage where they want a sporty vehicle. Some go through it in their teen years as they become newcomers to the road. Some go through it as young adults in college or even as grown adults going through their midlife crisis. Whether we buy a sports car or add modifications to a car, truck, or SUV to make it appear and function like a sports vehicle, almost everyone experiences this desire at some point. But looking and being street sporty just isn’t the same as the real deal. Like when you brought your previous Rio Red Civic Si down to the local drag strip a few times in your younger years for Street Night, where you raced other dreamers in their street-legal vehicles; it just wasn’t quite the race car you imagined the Civic Si could be.

In 2021, Honda debuted not one but two Civic Si race cars at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas. One concept was designed by Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), and the other, Team Honda Research; both used the new 2022 Honda Civic Si sedan for their models. The HPD Civic Si prototype was created to compete in the SRO TC America series. The other race car was put together to perform in NASA’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill, one of America’s most challenging endurance races. For all the Honda Civic Si enthusiasts who have stuck by the Si’s side through the good, the bad, and the ugly, seeing the Civic Si in true race car form is a dream come true.

A red 2022 Honda Civic Si is shown from the rear driving through a tunnel.

Changing Your Direction Towards 2022

As you find yourself daydreaming about sitting behind the wheel of the 2022 Honda Civic Si race car at Thunderhill while still standing in front of the black 2017 model at the certified pre-owned Honda dealer, it dawns on you. You previously shared so many memories with your 1991 Rio Red Civic Si in the past, and there, within reach of you, is another one after all those years without one; it must be destiny, right? Or, maybe it’s a test of your strength and ability to move forward and leave the past in the past. Honestly, you should ask yourself, why can’t it be both?

The eye-catching 2022 Honda Civic Si is designed with both the look and performance of a street race car. Available in vivid colors like Blazing Orange Pearl and Aegean Blue Metallic, chrome exhaust finishers, a gloss-black decklid spoiler, and 18-inch matte-black wheels. There is no missing this four-door sedan as it races down the street with its aerodynamic silhouette and sleek curves. The interior is no exception to style. Available with black soft racing-inspired seats with red stitching and a unique dash splashed in a honeycomb pattern, fully loaded with all the amenities for you and up to four of your family members to enjoy every curve of the road together with the purring under the hood.

The Civic Si still sports a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood with a 6-speed manual transmission, but now it has a single-mass flywheel for quicker engine response just in case you do get to test it out on the track. You can expect to get 200 horsepower with a peak of 192 pound-feet of torque for the 2022 model. Not bad for a family-friendly sedan that can also get you a combined 31 miles per gallon.

So, again, why can’t the 2017 Honda Civic Si sitting in front of you at the certified pre-owned Honda dealer be a sign of destiny? Let the past stay in the past. Be strong and move forward in a new direction with the 2022 Honda Civic Si that both you and your family can enjoy.

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