Why Honda Played It Safe With Civic Si’s Horsepower

When Honda revealed the new Civic Si, many fans expressed a certain disappointment just by looking the key figures.

The new turbocharged model produces 205hp, which is exactly the same figure its naturally aspirated predecessor made, while peak torque got a useful bump to 192lb-ft, up from 174lb-ft of the previous model.

Although the numbers certainly look healthy, many fans expected that Honda would give them more, given the switch to the new turbocharged 1.5-litre engine.

Honda knows that more horsepower is possible out of the new engine but chose not to do it for reasons explained to AutoNews. “You can tune more power into it, but all of that takes away from the durability of the engine,” said Rob Keough, senior product planner on the Civic. “Honda likes to build their engines to last hundreds of thousands of miles, so they’re working toward that target.”

Another reason for keeping the Civic Si’s horsepower capped was the price; the new model is priced from $24,775, including destination, and with that you get things like a sunroof, adaptive suspension and a limited-slip differential as standard.

If Honda was to use a detuned version of the 306hp 2.0-litre unit that’s in the Civic Type R, it reckons that the entry price would be closer to $30,000, which was unacceptable for the company.

“The Si has always been in the [price] range that it’s in,” Keough said. “We wanted it to be attainable and affordable, so our target for Si was really to come in at this price point with this performance level.”

The good news is though that Honda isn’t ruling out a model to slot between the Type R and the Si. “There’s maybe other configurations and things that they can do with this motor,” Keough said. “The market will tell us and then we’ll see what we can do about it.”


  • Trackhacker

    Basically they made an appliance without any emotion. I’d take the old SI any day!

    • Bananarama

      How do you come to that conclusion? Have you read any of the reviews? Every single one I’ve seen has praised it for staying true to form. Hondas have NEVER boasted high output figures.

  • Honda NSX-R

    At least it’s less expensive than the Sentra NISMO.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle

      At least it’s NOT the Sentra NISMO.

  • Eric

    I call that a green light for tuners and re-flashers.

  • nastinupe

    Hummm, give me a 2001 Integra Type R. 16 years later and Honda’s HP figures have barely moved. What a shame. Might as well just buy a cooler car since performance isn’t really changing.

  • D83

    One acceptable answer is the Price i think. Why they produce more horsepower when the price is close to Type-R?? DOA for sure. I think they positioned SI as the Plus version of the regular, not the advanced version of the regular

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