• Reliability: That’s Why the Civic Si Only has 205 Horsepower

And that 2.0-liter from the Type R would have allegedly made the Si too expensive

When details about the new Civic Si emerged, a lot of people were dumbfounded by the fact that an all-new model would indeed deliver the same horsepower as the outgoing model. Let’s be honest, it leaves a huge gap between the Si and the Type R, even with an increase in torque thanks to that 1.5-liter mill that’s taking over the Civic lineup. It’s easy to scream for more power, but Honda has finally come out about why the Civic Si only delivers 205 horsepower, and it makes sense – to an extent. In an interview with Automotive News, the Senior Product Planner for the Civic, Rob Keough, claims that it was done for reliability reasons.

“You can tune more power into it, but all of that takes away from the durability of the engine. Honda likes to build their engines to last hundreds of thousands of miles, so they’re working on that target,” Said Keough. And, that part makes sense, but what seems to be ruffling feathers is the claim that an Si with a tuned-down 2.0-liter from the Type R would have brought about a base starting price of “closer to $30,000.” Of course, there’s always a possibility than another model will come into play that will offer a good balance between the Si and the Type R, but whether it’ll use that same 1.5-liter or a detuned version of the 2.0-liter Type R engine if it does happen, is still a big mystery. The important thing is that Honda hasn’t ruled it out, so perhaps a $30,000 Si will grace Honda’s showroom floor in the near future.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

Further Thinking

Honda Brings Civic Si Prototype to Los Angeles, Confirms 2017 Launch High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
- image 695733
The fact that Honda is focusing more on reliability that pleasing the power fiends is actually good news for most of us

The fact that Honda is focusing more on reliability that pleasing the power fiends is actually good news for most of us, but claiming that the 2.0-liter would raise the price by as much as $5,000 makes me want to call B.S. After all, Ford can make the same jump, from a 1.5-liter to a 2.0-liter for just $1,200. Plenty of competitors out there like the Focus ST and the Subaru WRX all offer upward of 250 horsepower from their four-cylinders, and reliability doesn’t seem to be an issue, so what gives with Honda’s 1.5-liter? I know – it’s like comparing apples to oranges, and at this point, it’s hard to say. But, I’m sure the aftermarket tuner scene will, without a doubt, find out the weak points of the engine. Until then, we’ve just got to stand back and wait.

Honda Civic LX Honda Civic LX Honda Civic Si Honda Civic Type R Subaru WRX Ford Focus ST
Engine 2.0-liter In-Line 4-Cylinder 1.5-liter In-Line 4-Cylinder 1.5-liter In-Line 4-Cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed 2.0L EcoBoost® I-4 engine
Horsepower 158 HP @ 6,500 RPM 174 HP @ 6,000 RPM 205 HP @ 5,700 RPM 306 HP @ 6,500 RPM 268 HP @ 5,600 RPM 252 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque 138 LB-FT @ 4,200 RPM 162 LB-FT @ 1,700-5,500 RPM 192 LB-FT @ 2,100-5,000 RPM 295 LB-FT @ 7,000 RPM 258 LB-FT @ 2,000-5,200 RPM 270 LB-FT @ 2,500 RPM
Transmission 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed Manual
EPA Mileage Ratings (City/Highway/Combined) 28/40/32 31/42/35 28/38/32 TBA 20/27/23 22/30/25
Curb weight 2,742 Lbs 2,849 Lbs 2,906 Lbs TBA 3,272 Lbs 3,223 Lbs

At the end of the day, the Civic Si has always been right around the same $25,000 price point and has offered right around the same amount of power, so it’s really not all that surprising that Honda didn’t try to force the issue and bring more power right out of the gate. And, on top of that, it’s also lighter than it’s predecessor, so it’s naturally a bit faster, which should be enough to keep most people happy. I’ve speculated in the past that the new Si would either be a glorified grocery-getter or a tuners dream, but now that this reliability issue comes up, I’m starting to wonder if anything more than mild tuning might be too much. I’ve personally owned two Accords (1987 and 1992) with over 300,000 miles, and currently own an Acura Legend (with a Honda 3.2-liter from the factory) that currently has around 362,000 miles. None of them have ever had a critical failure whatsoever. So, if Honda cites reliability as the reason behind not going beyond the 205-horsepower mark, I give them a pass. What about you? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Read our full review on the Honda Civic SI here.

Source: Automotive News

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: