Honda rolled out another variant of its beloved Civic — the Civic Si. Now in its 11th generation of its entry-level model, officials say the newest version of the Si is the “best handling,” “most fun-to-drive” model yet.
“Civic Si is a performance icon that has offered affordable high-performance for four decades and the new Honda Civic Si continues that legacy,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. “It isn’t just a blast to drive, it’s hands down the best Civic Si we’ve ever offered to our customers.”
The company makes that claim for a few reasons, starting with giving everyone what they want in a Civic Si: a 6-speed manual. Let’s face facts: it’s not an Si if you want “row your own.” For the 2022 model year, the automaker tweaked the manual to make it more responsive.
Updating the manual
While most automakers continue to find ways to phase out manual transmission, Honda looked to improve it. This starts with lighter components, including a new single-mass flywheel is 26% lighter than the dual-mass unit used in the previous Si.
The flywheel’s 30% reduction in inertia results in a snappier throttle response for an even sportier driving experience. To maximize available traction when accelerating, power is routed to the front wheels through a standard helical limited-slip differential.
Not only is more responsive, it gets a sportier feel for enthusiast drivers with improved shift feel and 10% shorter throws. A new, more rigid shift lever mounting bracket and a new leather-wrapped aluminum shift knob similar to the Civic Type R’s contribute to the improved feel.
For the first time, Civic Si features a rev-matching system directly from the Civic Type R. With the same 430 m/s response time as Civic Type R in Sport mode, the new rev-matching system will “blip” the throttle when it detects a downshift, quickly and perfectly matching revs.
Plenty of power
The updated transmission handles the power from an updated high-output VTEC 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with broader power curves than what came from the previous iteration. The engine’s peak torque of 192 lb.-ft. of torque at 1800-5000 rpm (SAE net) now arrives 300 rpm sooner for a quicker punch off the line and out of tight corners, Honda says.
Performance is also improved at the top of the tach where the engine maintains more output between its 200-horsepower power peak at 6000 rpm (SAE net) and its 6500 rpm redline.
All of that power sounds better too, officials claim, due to a new dual-coil silencer exhaust system. It increases exhaust flow by 27% compared to the Civic Touring model sedan. To complement the engine’s natural exhaust note inside the cabin, Civic Si uses an improved Active Sound Control system that can produce high-quality sound over a wider range of engine rpm.
Feeling and looking the part
Going fast is good, but handling the twisties is just as important to Si buyers and Honda worked on that too for the new version, increasing torsional rigidity by 8% and bending rigidity by 13% compared to the outgoing model.
Engineers also stiffened and retuned various parts of the suspension to offer a more stable, better handling machine for the 2022 model year.
Like the 2022 Civic Sedan, the new Civic Si also benefits from a 0.5-inch wider rear track for additional stability, and a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase for a smoother ride, as well as greater high-speed stability. The Si’s 107.7-inch wheelbase is the longest in its class.
Not only does it feel good, it looks good. new upper front bumper design is more aggressive, and its rear bumper has been reshaped to reveal two large oval exhaust tips.
A front spoiler hidden under the vehicle and a gloss black rear spoiler mounted atop the trunk lid add downforce to improve high speed stability. Si also features gloss black trim on the exterior mirrors and window surrounds. LED headlights and taillights are standard.
Standard 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels are finished in Si-specific matte black, and a new vibrant, Si-exclusive Blazing Orange Pearl paint color is available.