May 30, 2019 update to the Honda Civic Si Coupe project car

Project Civic Si: The Ultimate Track and Road Car?

It’s a street car that excels on track. Or maybe it’s a track car that’s totally benign on the street.

Either way, our 2019 Honda Civic Si continued to impress us this past weekend at our Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge as it was used to give media rides.

Prep was easy. It’s a Honda, right? We’re still running the stock tires but figured that we should replace the brake pads so we could start the day at VIR with a fresh set.

Once on the ground at VIR, pre-event prep was easy and minimal: Give the car a bath and torqued the lugs. The Civic then spent the day cycling through media rides. Publisher Tim Suddard was at the wheel, and the VSA was left in the default (on) setting. Here’s what he reports back:

The new Civic Si is a true delight on track. We drove it one lap at a time, all day, with no problems at VIR, one of the fastest tracks in America. This car is easy to drive. I think my mom, who doesn’t race, could get this car around VIR safely. It is that easy to drive fast. How fast? We hit 115 miles per hour at the end of the front race in spirited, but not all-out race laps. The seats, pedals and other interior ergonomics fall readily to hand or foot and are quite conducive to track work. Power delivery is smooth and while not awe inspiring, very adequate for this type of car. The brakes are up to the task and are smooth and progressive to apply. Gear ratios are perfectly spaced for track work, too. The chassis is very communicative and has very little understeer, decent turn-in and, again, while too soft for serious track work, goes where it is pointed and has zero vices. During media rides, we constantly had people asking how we had modified the car to handle and run so well. They were shocked when we told them it was a brand-new, completely stock Civic with just 2000 miles on it. When we told them that the car is priced less than $25,000, as equipped, they are even more perplexed.”

Nancy handled the street driving for this trip–about 600 miles each way. Her comments:

The Civic Si was a great car for my road trip. It handled great and had lots of get up and go. One thing I noticed is that it didn’t have any blinds spots; I could see everything I needed to see. The radio was kick-ass. I need music when I’m on the road, and it delivered. The CarPlay feature was great: I had navigation and could talk hands-free when I had to. It was mostly comfortable, but I’m not sure how many cars would be comfortable for a 10-hour drive. The only flaw, if you will, is that the doors are big. You have to be careful when you pull up to a gas pump. Overall, it was a fun car. I miss having a stick shift every now and then and this gave me the chance to drive one for a bit and now I’m good for a while.”

One item she added later: Letting the car sit all day turned the shift knob into the center of the sun.

What does the car need after some 1200 highway miles plus a full day lapping VIR? A bath and an oil change.

Fortunately we have a coupon from our local Honda dealer: $39 for a full-synthetic oil change, including a genuine Honda oil filter, a car wash, and an alignment check. We can’t barely purchase the oil and filter alone for that sum. As an added bonus, we could schedule the appointment online, with slots offered in 20-minute increments.

The plan is to do it on the way into the office. Quick and simple.

 

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/31/19 8:15 a.m.

Just bumping this up with a question: Anyone else out there running those Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season tires?

Ours are wearing like iron. 

sjd
sjd New Reader
5/31/19 10:57 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I had a set on my 2015 Si and they weren’t too bad despite my 17 year old learning to autocross on them all last season. I found the wet grip lacking for all seasons though. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/31/19 11:32 a.m.
sjd said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I had a set on my 2015 Si and they weren’t too bad despite my 17 year old learning to autocross on them all last season. I found the wet grip lacking for all seasons though. 

It no longer rains here in the South, so we're good there. 

mithrilperformance
mithrilperformance
5/31/19 4:54 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I picked up my Si slightly used last October and the tires still look great after almost 20K miles. I keep thinking I should park the 944 and take the Si to track days instead.

mcarter45
mcarter45
5/31/19 7:49 p.m.

What brake pads you go with...also did you switch brake fluid? Great to follow the fun and progress! I have a 19’ 4 door  Si.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Dork
5/31/19 8:31 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
sjd said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I had a set on my 2015 Si and they weren’t too bad despite my 17 year old learning to autocross on them all last season. I found the wet grip lacking for all seasons though. 

It no longer rains here in the South, so we're good there. 

Thanks for posting this, David.  Maybe it's the reason we got about an hour of steady rain here today!

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
5/31/19 8:54 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc :

Yeah, right after I washed the Mercedes! 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/31/19 9:27 p.m.
Floating Doc said:
David S. Wallens said:
sjd said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I had a set on my 2015 Si and they weren’t too bad despite my 17 year old learning to autocross on them all last season. I found the wet grip lacking for all seasons though. 

It no longer rains here in the South, so we're good there. 

Thanks for posting this, David.  Maybe it's the reason we got about an hour of steady rain here today!

Today my wife had rain at her office on the other side of town, but it's still dry as a bone here at the house. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/31/19 9:28 p.m.
mcarter45 said:

What brake pads you go with...also did you switch brake fluid? Great to follow the fun and progress! I have a 19’ 4 door  Si.

We installed some standard replacement pads--nothing special--but I have Hawk on the other line. Fluid is still stock but will be changed soon. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/1/19 6:10 a.m.

I'm blown away that you can track an economy car on stock brakes and tires and not melt everything down. I know it's and Si, but come on, that's amazing. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
6/1/19 10:14 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:
sjd said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

I had a set on my 2015 Si and they weren’t too bad despite my 17 year old learning to autocross on them all last season. I found the wet grip lacking for all seasons though. 

It no longer rains here in the South, so we're good there. 

My backyard might have a different opinion on that as it's an inch under water from all the rain in Chuluota 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
6/1/19 10:24 a.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

I'm blown away that you can track an economy car on stock brakes and tires and not melt everything down. I know it's and Si, but come on, that's amazing. 

it is amazing. I had a 2010 Si 4-door that I ran 2 PDXs and a whole season of autox on with the same factory brake pads that were also used for DDing. Same with the tires that came on it at the time which were Michellin All-Seasons as well. I blew through the stock pads on my 2015 STI in less than 20 mins once. Threw some Stoptech prem performance street pads in there for the next session and they lasted through mult autox, PDXs, and DDing use as well. 

MCarter45 - I would look at some Hawk HPS Street Pads or Stoptech premium performance street and a street/track brake fluid like an ATE Type 200 or a DOT4.  

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
6/2/19 6:15 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I ran my '98 ZX2 compleatly stock at a track day at Lime Rock, did the same with my Contour SE.    Nothing bad happened.

spacecadet
spacecadet HalfDork
6/2/19 7:30 p.m.

I drove one of these Today at the Mineral Wells Prosolo when my STH ride blew up yesterday. 

I was majorly impressed, these are just absolutely phenomenal to drive.

Add a rear sway bar, the Eibach 25mm bar they market for the Type R was on the car I drove and the car that won the class. Simple and effective. the Karcepts bar is also solid. just different kind of poison. 

The Diff was a life changing experience for me. My focus ST requires me to touch the brakes or lift to get the nose to tuck mid corner. the Si will pull towards the apex on throttle thanks to the Diff. 

I had the inkling it would drive this way after driving the '09 Si I just bought back in April. But the mid midrange torque from the turbo with almost no lag and the great diff is a powerful combo for Autox. even if the power levels aren't life changing out of the box. 

OzCop
OzCop New Reader
6/2/19 10:02 p.m.

I test drove an 18 model Civic Si with 9K miles on the odo in Denton, TX. The asking price was the same as a new, fresh off the truck 2019 model at a local Honda dealer. I test drove it anyway, and was sold on handling and no drama suspension, and the peppy 1.5 turbo after 20 miles of driving the thing. I could not wait to sell my 2017 ST with only 11 K miles on it, including two sets of Enkei wheels, fresh BFG Rival 1.5's sized 255 40 17, and a set of RE 71 R Bridgestones that were over half tread. Never mind the Strano rear bar ad BRG exhaust system...I sold it within a week, and within another week I had my 2019 pearl white Civic Si coupe sitting in the garage where the ST resided for 20 months. 

To say I am impressed with this car even after 5 months of owner ship and 2500 miles, with no mods other than muffler delete for 150 bucks, 17x8 Hypergram wheels by Konig weighing only 16.3 lbs each, and 255 40 17 RE 71 R tires, would be an understatement. No alignment, no rear bar, or other mods whatsoever yet, and with 10 autocrosses, including a Tour, a Faux Pro Solo, and the Mineral Wells,, TX Pro this past weekend I am loving it more and more. Ordering new rear bar tomorrow...

As a side note, I'm 76 years old and at the first dealer I walked into the young salesman lamented rather quickly that I did not want an Si...it was a young man's car and could only be had with a stick shift. (at least he knew that much about the car) but instead wanted to steer me toward the fancier sedan with the awesome 1.5 and CVT auto transmission. He later revealed they did not have an Si in stock at that time, but would call me when the red Si sedan arrived....which he did while I was driving around in my freshly purchased white pearl Civic Si coupe...

 

spacecadet
spacecadet HalfDork
6/2/19 11:08 p.m.

In reply to OzCop :

you did good this weekend. I'm glad you're liking the Si more than the ST. 

 

StuntmanMike
StuntmanMike New Reader
6/4/19 6:09 a.m.

But what were the lap times?

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