We're mere months away from the release of the all-new 2012 Civic. Honda rolled out the "concept" versions of the 2012 Civic Si Coupe and Sedan. Honda didn't talk performance on the new Si, but the new, more angular and sculpted car sports 19-inch wheels with Pilot Sport PS2 tires and two-piece rotors with huge fixed calipers. And there's not a chance any of that will make production.
This got us thinking about what Honda currently offers for the Honda Civic Si and soon we found ourselves in possession of a 2010 Honda Civic Si Sedan with the HFP package and optional (and recommended) Dunlop SP Sport FM summer performance tires.
The HFP kit includes a front underbody spoiler, side underbody spoiler, rear underbody spoiler, sport suspension, 18-by-7-inch alloy wheels, sport muffler, HFP emblems and the aforementioned Dunlop tires. This kit is a dealer-installed option that runs $4,274.50 and Honda estimates that installation should cost $550.
So, what's a $29,938.50 Honda Civic do on the test track? (And how does it compare with the 2009 Civic Si without the HFP kit we tested back in '09?)
Vehicle: 2010 Honda Civic SI HFP
Driver: Mike Monticello
Drive Type: Front engine, front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,998/122
Redline (rpm): 8,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 197 @ 7,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 139 @ 6,100
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 10.2-inch solid discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Steering System: Electric-assist power steering
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson struts
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 215/40ZR18 85W
Tire Size (rear): 215/40ZR18 85W
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: SP Sport FM901
Tire Type: Summer performance
Wheel size: 18-inch
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 2,939
0-30 (sec): 2.9 (3.0 w/tc on)
0-45 (sec): 5.0 (5.2 w/tc on)
0-60 (sec): 7.4 (7.9 w/tc on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.1 (7.6 w/tc on)
0-75 (sec): 10.4 (10.9 w/tc on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.4 @ 92.6 (15.7 @ 91.2 w/tc on)
30-0 (ft): 33
60-0 (ft): 129
Slalom (mph): 67.7 (66.4 w/tc on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.84 (0.85 w/tc on)
Db @ Idle: 43.4
Db @ Full Throttle: 81.1
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 68.2
Acceleration: Launching at or above 4,000 rpm resulted in lots of wheelspin off the line; less than 4 grand and the HFP would bog, then light up the tires just out of the box, calling for backpedaling to control wheelspin. Part of the blame goes to the tires, which refuse to hook up. Great shifter -- light effort, short, super-positive throws. VTEC kicks in strong at 5,800 rpm, sounds terrific.
Braking: Solid and consistent pedal feel throughout. But the HFP just doesn't stop quickly, not even as well as a regular SI. This can most likely be attributed to the lack of grip from its surprisingly slippy summer performance tires.
Handling: Skid pad: Lots of understeer. Throttle corrections help, but there's only so much you can do here when the tires aren't sticking very well. Slalom: The HFP version of the Civic Si feels over-springed and underdamped, and it runs out of grip around the cones quicker than it seems it should. Chassis responds to drop-throttle, but do that too much and you're chasing oversteer. Steering could be a little more weighty and could definitely use more substance.