Having monster engines with 400 and 500 hp is all well and good, but when it takes the high side of $100 to fill the tank, well, there has to be an alternative.
Honda believes it has an answer to providing performance while staving off gas pump shock with the 2010 Civic Coupe Si.
The Coupe Si shares the same “one-motion” profile concept of the current Civic line with a steep windshield rake, negligible front and rear overhangs, and a reduced gap between the wheel wells and the tires for a sweeping, cohesive appearance.
While the standard Civic Sedan/Coupe has a 1.8-litre engine with 140 hp and 128 lb/ft of torque, the Coupe Si has a model-specific 2.0-litre, DOHC four-cylinder with 197 hp and 139 lb/ft of torque. Honda uses variable valve timing along with all the knowledge gained through motorcycle and Formula One racing to extract the kind of high-revving power that just sings out.
In fact, this car can hit the 7,800 rpm redline so fast, there is a red warning light set high on the dash that starts flashing at 7,400 rpm as you approach top end.
The interior treatment is unique to the Coupe Si with red stitching on the seats and front seat bolsters so big; you almost have to climb in over them.
The Si shows that motoring in a quick and tidy manner does not have to cost the better part of fifty grand.
What the Civic Si does is prove that you can have fun and be practical at the same time, which when you think about it, is what Civics have been all about since 1973.