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Boosted Honda Civic Si premiers before New York debut


The most sporting model in the United States for years in the absence of the Type R, Honda has officially revealed the new Civic Si sedan and coupe ahead of next week's New York Auto Show.

Slotting-in between the regular Civic and Type R, the latter making its long awaited debut in the States, the Si also breaks from tradition by offering a turbocharged engine for the first time, as well as a number of unique features to separate it from lesser models.

Claimed to set a new benchmark in terms of handling and agility, the Si boasts a more rigid body than before with additional under-the-skin changes consisting of a dual-pinion adaptive electric power steering system, sports tuned suspension, adaptive dampers, limited slip-diff, stiffer springs, new stabiliser bars, larger brake rotors, wider 18-inch alloy wheels and more rigged front upper control arms derived from the Type R.

As well a new adaptive chassis with two modes; Normal and Sport, the Si's biggest taking point is the dropping of the previous normally aspirated 2.4-litre engine for the same 1.5-litre turbo used the normal Civic, albeit revised to produce an identical 153 kW with torque going up from 236 Nm to 260 Nm. A short-throw six-speed manual gearbox is again the only transmission offered with Honda declining to reveal any performance details yet.

Along with subtle Si exclusive aesthetic enhancements, both sedan and coupe feature a seven-inch touchscreen display incorporating Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and app-based navigation, 10-speaker sound system, aluminium interior inserts, red stitching, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, rain sense wipers, Agile Handling Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist, ABS with EBD and traction control.

Sales are set to commence next month with pricing from around $20 000 (R275 678), although like previous generations, don't expect the Si to arrive in South Africa soon.

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