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Honda Civic Si adds a bigger engine, stiffer frame

April 28, 2006|by Ken Chester, Jr. / MOTOR NEWS MEDIA

It is possible to go faster, but not possible to have more fun per mile than in the all-new Honda Civic Si coupe. Priced less than $25,000, the Si is based on the recently introduced eighth-generation Civic platform. The Si amplifies its defining character with a long list of Honda technology and engineering innovations, resulting in a vehicle that is pure Honda, exclusively Civic and outside the boundaries of traditional small car thinking.

Lines of the exterior of the new Honda Civic Si coupe follow a futuristic and high-tech "Advanced Personal Compact" design that incorporates a sweeping roofline and ultra-sleek windshield angle that highlights the vehicle's one-motion profile, low and wide stance, and exceptionally aerodynamic shape.

Starting with the sporty demeanor of the regular Civic coupe, the Si backs up the sleek look with more power, sharper handling and a bigger dose of high-tech than ever seen in a Civic.

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Power for the new Si is generated by Honda's K20 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. For 2006, the automaker's i-VTEC system was added, the compression ratio was increased and a unique crankshaft balancer was added for smoother revving to an impressive 8,000 rpm redline. The result is engine output that approaches 100 hp per liter of displacement.

The i-VTEC system uses two different cam profiles, one for low rpms and one for high, keeping power output up across the rev range. Variable valve timing control gives the Si a bigger boost in both power and economy. Engine output is managed by a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox with power transferred to the street through a helical-type limited slip differential. It transmits torque to the wheel with the most traction for confident acceleration through the corners.

On the road, the Si coupe is impressively responsive at speed - corners flat with hardly any body roll - and handles excellently. Tight, solid, complete and balanced, this Civic Si is by far the best handling generation Honda ever created.

The foundation for the 2006 Civic is a new version of Honda's Global Compact Platform. The solid unit body of the Civic was designed from the outset to define a new standard for torsional and bending rigidity in the compact segment. Employing advanced body construction technologies for enhanced safety, improved rigidity, ride comfort and a quieter cabin, the new platform boasts a 36 percent improvement in torsional rigidity.

The Si's control hardware is a four-wheel independent system that was completely redesigned for 2006. Reengineered to provide agile handling and refined ride comfort, the sporty Honda coupe employs a compact control-link McPherson strut suspension up front, while a reactive-link double-wishbone suspension at the rear helps to provide a smooth ride, excellent handling and good cargo space.

Inside the cabin, Honda stylists and engineers prioritized sophistication to create a high-quality, advanced and sporty interior with the latest technology, expanded storage and ground-breaking ergonomics. A two-tier instrument panel positions priority gauges like the speedometer up high in the driver's field of vision. The increased body width allows for deep-bolstered front cloth seats, and a spacious multi-functional center console accommodates up to 25 compact discs and performs armrest duties for both front occupants.

QUICK VEHICLE STATS



Wheelbase: 104.3; overall length: 174.8; width: 68.9; height: 53.5 - measurements in inches.

Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder - 197 hp at 7,800 rpm and 139 lbs-ft of torque at 6,100 rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed close-ratio manual.

EPA fuel economy: 23 city/32 hwy.

Cargo capacity: 11.5 cu. ft.

SAFETY FEATURES



Dual front air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, front head curtain air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, electronic brake distribution, daytime running lights, side-impact door beams, engine immobilizer, remote keyless entry, power door locks with auto-lock feature and limited slip differential. Available safety features include navigation system.

WARRANTY



Basic: 3-year/36,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper.

Powertrain: 5-year/60,000 mile.

Corrosion: 5-year/unlimited.

PRICING



The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2006 Honda Civic Si coupe starts from $19,990 with destination charges adding $550.

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