- The 2022 Honda Civic Si revealed yesterday shows some disappointing figures, but maybe it isn't a bad thing. Courtesy of Honda.

More horsepower isn't always better

Don't let those ponies run wild, it's time to tame them.

The 2022 Honda Civic Si debuted with similar performance figures to its predecessor. If I'm to be factually accurate, it's actually five, yes five, horsepower less, with the torque figure staying the same. 200 HP and 192 lb-ft doesn't sound too competitive these days, but Honda mentioned in the press release that the peak torque arrives 300 rpm sooner at 1800 rpm and will make that power through 5000 rpm. Peak horsepower is now made at 6000 rpm with a 6500 rpm redline. Other tweaks include a lighter flywheel, Type R bits are added to the suspension, and an improved feel to the six-speed manual will make it a compelling choice for the mildly-seasoned Civic.

During the debut, I was a bit disappointed to see those numbers not increase, but if throttle tuning and engine performance are a bit sharper then we'll all be in for a real treat. Reliability along with performance leaves headaches out of the equation, but also allows for longevity. Increasing power means that something else will have to increase, like price, weight, complexity. To not step on the Type R's toes, the Si has to cut costs and corners somewhere, and this helps keep the price down. It wouldn't be great if the car had more power and couldn't use it because of gearing or tuning. If the ponies are tamed then letting the horses run a bit wild will be enjoyable rather than frustrating. The current WRX is a great example of weird gearing meets too much power, it's just a frustrating experience. If the gearing, engine power, and driveability of the car all match, then it's going to be great, even though there's nothing revolutionary about the car on paper.

Honda engines used to scream, like 8200 rpm scream, and it was silly because there was no low end torque to move around town and traffic with. When the tenth-generation Civic Si showed off its turbocharged 1.5L, it really was disappointing to find out that the engine would only see a few changes from the regular, unseasoned Civic. Reviews of the tenth generation state that it was brilliant at everything, minus the lack of a good song and the atrocity of rev-hang somewhat ruining the experience of the car almost completely. Tuners worked on tuning out the rev-hang, but it ruins fuel economy and reliability.

For the current eleventh-generation Civic, rev-hang is still there on the Sport Touring trim, so if Honda tuned the Si properly, hopefully it'll be a linear driving experience for the new Civic Si. The Civic Si used to be brilliant as an everyday driver with some great personality and hopefully this new one reflects that. If not, at least the shifter is going to be something special and a love letter to those devoted to manual transmissions.

If we've learned anything, Honda's reputation of reliable performance is more important to the brand than giving buyers a car that has to make constant trips to the service department. Or if it sucks so bad that it isn't an improvement from the regular Civic, the Integra and Civic Type R are still set to debut within the next few months.

The 2022 Civic Si will be on the streets soon. I'll reserve complete judgement until I get behind the wheel, but I'm willing to wager the experience will be superior to its predecessor.

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Comments (11)

  • Exactly. Especially for new super/hypercars, who needs all 600+hp every day?

      1 month ago
    • I’d rather have something designed, tuned, and perfected at 100 hp than something just put together with scraps to make 400 hp. I’ll stand by that statement.

        1 month ago
    • Same here! I'd rather have a tastefully modified JDM classic with about 300hp than a random 600+hp supercar.

        1 month ago
  • And for the opposite view we have this kind gentleman.

      1 month ago
  • It does need more power to stay competitive though

      1 month ago
  • The only way to redeem the new Si is to show people that it's better with comparison. Honda knows what they're doing with engine technology, I'm sure there are many improvements not mentioned.

      1 month ago
  • lol, that cover photo of the rear of the Civic makes it look exactly like a Camry. And this seems like a cope article to justify the lower power. Where is all this advanced technology that is supposed to make cars more fuel efficient and more powerful?

      1 month ago
    • It’s Honda’s press photo, that’s how they’ve been promoting the new Civic Si. And that advanced technology is too rich for people, so they justify this same technology to keep costs down.

      All I was making a point about is if there’s...

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        1 month ago
    • Im sure it will be good, Honda hasnt had a miss in a long time. I think except the Ridgeline and the automatic transmission issues they had in the early 2000s. But Honda always makes the safe choice. Thats the "cope" im talking about.

        1 month ago