Get more: 2012 Honda Civic Si Review at AutoGuide.comPoster child of a shrinking segment, Honda and its fans know the Si is too good to live without
When asked if he looked to another automaker’s high performance model in building the new 2012 Si, Honda Civic chief engineer Mitsuru Horikoshi was unequivocal. ‘No’, he said, in plain English, his translator not being needed to communicate this most basic thought to the assembled journalists.
Were it another car, we might have had our doubts, but as the flagship performance offering in the Civic lineup – a vehicle that spawned a generation of import car tuning – the Si is the benchmark to which others are measured. This held true even late into the previous car’s product cycle, with newer rivals hitting the market, when it could no longer be considered the obvious performance king.
Still, it never shied away from comparos with an equally big fanboy favorite, the VW GTI, or with the MazdaSpeed3, which overwhelmed with abundant torque – and torque steer. While close on paper, track tests with cars like the Kia Forte Koup SX and Scion tC were still too distant to consider, while even a modern generation of sports cars, like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, found themselves humbled by a front-driver that knows how to turn.
And so it’s back, debuting as one of six new models in the new ninth generation Civic lineup, defying naysayers who have been ringing out the death knell for the sport coupe segment since Tyrese Gibson filled in for Vin Diesel.