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HFP is how Honda now spells Si

Enthusiasts didn’t take kindly to the 2012 Honda Civic Si. From the power, to the styling, to the feel behind the wheel, it simply wasn’t edgy enough. A more refined performance machine perhaps, but not what the Civic Nation expected, at a time when Honda was already seen to be losing its appetite for performance vehicles.

Acknowledging the car’s faults and looking to combat critics while catering to a young male demographic, Honda unveiled the Civic Si HFP (Honda Factory Performance) at last year’s SEMA Show. Little has been done to promote the car since it was introduced but we were recently invited to test it out in Canada – where the Civic’s reputation means even more due to it being the most popular car sold in that country.

PERFORMANCE PARTS

Looking at the spec sheet, this new HFP model appears to solve most of our original complaints about the car – many of which became more obvious after we tested it against the Mazdaspeed3 at the track. What it doesn’t do, however, (and much to our disappointment) is improve upon the engine’s power with the 2.4-liter engine continuing to be rated at 201 hp at 7000 rpm and 170 lb-ft of torque at 4300 rpm.

A noted improvement in mid-range power with 30 more lb-ft of torque compared to the old model, the engine lacks the rev happy feel of its predecessors. For a special edition model like this, new engine internals aren’t going to happen, but would it be too much to ask for an intake, exhaust and a few extra rpm?

While the new Civic’s styling has grown on us, it certainly is a smoother interpretation of the iconic coupe without any boy racer flare. Added to the HFP model is a complete aero kit with a new front lip, rear diffuser and side skits.

Also helping improve the looks of the Si considerably are the handling upgrades with large 18-inch wheels and a set of lowering springs that reduce the overall height of the car by 15mm (roughly half an inch).

Paired with those new wheels are some sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires measuring 215/40/18. No wider than the factory rubber, the lower sidewall should help in reducing tire roll in hard and fast cornering maneuvers on an auto-x, or when loading up the car on twisty roads or the track.

As for the suspension, not happy to half-ass it, Honda mated new shocks to the lowering springs, which also boast stiffer spring rates to help minimize lean in the corners. Surprisingly, that the package doesn’t include stiffer sway bars – an easy way to help curb body roll. No brake upgrades are included in the package either, though based on our previous experience with the car they aren’t needed.
Read the complete 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP Review and watch the video review at AutoGuide.com
 
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