Project Civic Si: So Long, Civic, Thanks for a Fun Year

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David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the Honda Civic Si Coupe project car
Apr 15, 2020

The message arrived last Tuesday: The 2019 Honda Civic Si that we’d been fostering needed to return to the mothership that coming Thursday. The yearlong loan was up. 

Our season with this one was over before it began. 

The decommissioning process was fairly easy: Remove the GRM stickers, remount the stock wheels, and clean it up. A plastic razor blade and some quick detailer facilitated that last step. 

The car had only recently been serviced, and it still had a full tank of fuel after a few weeks of sitting. Thursday morning, right on cue, the Civic was fetched. 

But we still have the memories. We found the Civic, even with the stock rubber but especially when fitted with the Falken Azenis RT615K+ tires, very easy to drive on track. It never got twitchy or nervous. The car was also relatively gentle on tires and brakes.

For a second opinion, here’s what Tom O’Gorman told us about the current Civic Si chassis:

First, you have the chassis,” he told us, “in my opinion, the best front-wheel-drive chassis I’ve ever driven, with the mechanical grip and sharpness—especially at turn-in—reminiscent of the Honda S2000.”

Then there’s the relatively long, 107-inch wheelbase, he added: “That makes the rotation necessary to go fast in a front-wheel-drive car very progressive and predictable, giving the driver a great amount of confidence. 

This combo of high mechanical grip and long wheelbase means you can really get the nose rotated toward the exit of a corner at turn-in without any fear of that dreaded front-drive understeer coming in later down the corner.”

What else did we like about the latest Civic Si? Solid interior: meaty steering wheel, proper pedal placement, smooth shifter, comfortable yet supportive seats. The touch points have a substantial, quality feel to them. Bonus points for Apple CarPlay, too. 

The Civic was also good on gas—we saw low 30s without even trying—and offered plenty of power. No, it’s not the Type R, but we found it plenty quick for daily use and a good match for the chassis. And thanks, Honda, for making the limited-slip standard. 

What broke? In 9222 miles, just had that blown brake light bulb. That’s it. 

And we have to mention the Tonic Yellow Pearl paint. Can’t remember the last time a car got so many compliments based on color alone. 

We’re going to miss this one, but perhaps one day we’ll meet again. 

 

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Comments
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nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
4/15/20 8:17 a.m.

Man, what a perfect color for pollen season!

Looks like lightly used Si's are starting from about $17K right now.  Not super cheap, but a total bargain next to the $30K starting price for used Type R's.  And an ECU flash is the easy button to give the turbo a generous bump in torque and power in these cars.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/15/20 9:19 a.m.

In reply to nderwater :

Yes, the color did hide the pollen well. smiley

An Si with a chip, yeah, that would fun. It's heck of a chassis.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
4/15/20 10:47 a.m.

It's a shame they had no exciting colors for the 2020 refresh. Black, two grays, white, blue, and red. They need to bring back that 90s teal as a standard. 

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/15/20 10:50 a.m.

Is this THE car for GS now? From what I have seen, it punches well above its class.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/15/20 11:03 a.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Tahitian Green for the win. 

Hasbro (Forum Supporter)
Hasbro (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/15/20 1:33 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I  want  that .

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/15/20 3:25 p.m.
Hasbro (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I  want  that .

Yup. Our '92 Civic Si project car started out as red. So I redid it in red-oxide primer.

 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
4/15/20 3:48 p.m.

Too bad its uglier than sin.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/15/20 5:08 p.m.

I'm still firmly in the "love the looks" camp, especially in the Tonic Yellow. 

Bon voyage, Civic. Even though my time driving you was brief and during a frantic time, I'll never forget your trick camera for right turns. And that tonic yellow pearl.  

RobDelia
RobDelia New Reader
4/15/20 6:56 p.m.

Fun driving ours to the coast, on the twisty highways. (California state route 20 from the Reno area) It's a keeper, could not wipe the smiles from our faces.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/15/20 8:14 p.m.
RobDelia said:

Fun driving ours to the coast, on the twisty highways. (California state route 20 from the Reno area) It's a keeper, could not wipe the smiles from our faces.

And that's a good way of putting it: It's simply fun. Is it the fastest car? No, of course not. But it's just perfect for stuff like that. I'm going to miss ours. (I promised that I wouldn't get verklempt.)

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
4/15/20 10:07 p.m.

I reeeeeally wish Honda had styled this car differently. It sounds like a great car... Checks a lot of boxes!

Alas, I prefer to look away whenever I see them, which is often. The design provokes disgust in me.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
4/15/20 10:18 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Tahitian Green for the win. 

Parts of me want to paint my S2000 that color. However it would clash with the black/red interior too much. 

aw614
aw614 Reader
4/16/20 8:24 a.m.
DirtyBird222 said:
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Tahitian Green for the win. 

Parts of me want to paint my S2000 that color. However it would clash with the black/red interior too much. 

That doesn't stop porsche from having goofy interior colors cheeky

need8car
need8car None
4/16/20 9:56 a.m.

I wish honda would bring back the epb color on the EM1 from 99-00

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
4/16/20 9:59 a.m.

In reply to aw614 :

That's a custom ordered car.  Someone specifically requested Porsche build that for them and paid extra.

dculberson (Forum Supporter)
dculberson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/16/20 1:39 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

My wife had a prior gen Civic SI in that color. This isn't hers, but it looked about like this:

I loved that car. Unfortunately a dazed driver in a Thunderbird rear ended her at a red light and folded the car up pretty badly. (The roof was even kinked!) She was fine but the car is long, long gone.

barefootskater
barefootskater SuperDork
4/16/20 1:46 p.m.

One of these is very high on my list. I really like the current styling, though I know I'm in the minority there. Another 5-6 years of depreciation and time for me to be a little higher up on the pay scale... just not in white or black. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/16/20 3:59 p.m.
need8car said:

I wish honda would bring back the epb color on the EM1 from 99-00

My wife's daily was a 2000 Civic Si in Electron Blue. Yes, a great color. 

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