Jun 9, 2019 update to the Honda Civic Si Coupe project car

Project Civic Si: A Relaxing Track Outing (And Some Tire Talk, Too)

It was an uneventful track event. And we’re okay with that.

No fading brakes.

No warning lights across the dash.

Just a relaxed Thursday evening, clicking off some laps with our 2019 Honda Civic Si in a laid-back setting with SCCA Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack at the Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park. It’s not yet hot and disgusting here in Florida, meaning the evenings are nice and comfortable.

The FIRM nicely suits a car like this as it requires mostly second and third gears in the Civic. Those not making a zillion horsepower don’t have to constantly drive in their mirrors. Yes, we love you, Sebring, but the long course doesn’t play into the strengths of those carrying only about 200 horsepower and sharing the grid with GT3 Cup Porsches.

Prep work that evening was fairly easy, and all of it was done either at the track or en route to said track.

Step 1: Fill up with a tank of premium fuel.

Step 2: Wipe the dead bugs from the windshield. (Welcome to lovebug season here in Florida.)

Step 3: Torque the lugs, and for this we grabbed the USAG torque wrench from our recent torque wrench comparison.

Time away for the event seemed reasonable, too. The FIRM is located not quite two hours away from GRM HQ. We left at 1:30 and were back home by 9:30 that evening. Minus out the travel time, and that’s about four hours for the event itself–with an hour of that spent on track.

Oh yeah, remember the Roux helmet that we teased you about? It worked like a champ–cool, comfortable and stylish. We’ll talk more about that helmet in a later installment.

So that was basically our relaxing evening. We registered online, self-teched the car, and spent maybe 2 minutes checking in once at the track. Easy. Okay, maybe there was one bit of excitement. The FIRM is laid out on a WWII bomber base, and it shares the land with an active airport. When a plane is heading in for a landing as you’re passing right beneath it, okay, that’s a bit exciting. (Don’t worry, it was like a two-seater, not a 747 or anything and, no, we didn’t stop to take a picture.)

Let’s talk brakes for a second: The FIRM’s layout–14 turns in just 1.6 miles–can work the brakes, though, but this time they did fine. No fade, no bad smells.

And now let’s talk tires for a few.

We’re still running the OE rubber, the Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season that, as the name hints, is an Ultra High Performance All-Season tire. Treadwear rating is 560 with A scores for traction and temperature. From the Tire Rack website:

Goodyear's Eagle Sport All-Season tire line includes W-speed rated Ultra High Performance All-Season radials developed for the drivers of sports cars, coupes, sedans and performance-oriented light trucks looking to combine sporty handling with all-season traction. Eagle Sport All-Season tires are designed to offer drivers all-season versatility in dry and wet conditions with year-round traction, even in light snow.” In 2013 Tire Rack tested this tire against the General G-Max AS-03 and Hankook Ventus S1 noble². The Goodyear finished third, but Tire Rack still had nice things to say: “An Ultra High Performance All-Season tire with balanced handling and a quiet ride along with good snow traction.” Tire Rack’s customers give the Goodyear high marks, too. After nearly a million miles reported, this tire sits second in the Ultra High Performance All-Season category, behind the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ and ahead of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS.

After three full tracks events plus about 4000 street miles, here’s what we can tell you: The Goodyear’s limits aren’t up there with today’s 200tw tires, but they offer stable, predictable performance that doesn’t fall off after a few laps. Oh, and they wear like iron, too. They’re delivered with 10/32nd of an inch of tread. We just measured 9/32nd at all four corners–and with no signs of feathering or other weirdness. These tires retail for $163.99 each from Tire Rack.

What did we do to celebrate this evening’s achievement? Take the Civic on another road trip where, at least for the first tank of gas, we averaged a legit 40 mpg on the highway–no cruise control, either, and as far as our pace, let’s just say that we were keeping up with the I-95 traffic. Once on the back roads, we stopped to check out the sights.

Yup, a perfect road trip car as well.

 

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Comments
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DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
6/9/19 9:13 p.m.

You guys have almost sold me on getting another Si even after I was ready to bite the bullet on a new GTI Rabbit

spacecadet
spacecadet HalfDork
6/10/19 9:32 a.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

You guys have almost sold me on getting another Si even after I was ready to bite the bullet on a new GTI Rabbit

The Si is a better car in every way except power and the lack of a hatch option. But, the GTi trunk area is so small without the seats folded down and the Si sedan has a great  backseat and great trunk space. 

livinon2wheels
livinon2wheels New Reader
6/10/19 2:20 p.m.

I give the honda props for performance and being dead nuts reliable...but god, why do they have to be so god awful butt ugly? The previous generations were IMHO much better looking, and perhaps with todays updates better performers...but I couldnt buy one of the new ones just because of the weird looks...anyone else feel that way?

Floating Doc
Floating Doc SuperDork
6/10/19 4:14 p.m.

Black paint disguises the weird fake vents. Not a good color for parking under the Florida sun, though. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
6/11/19 1:47 p.m.
spacecadet said:
DirtyBird222 said:

You guys have almost sold me on getting another Si even after I was ready to bite the bullet on a new GTI Rabbit

The Si is a better car in every way except power and the lack of a hatch option. But, the GTi trunk area is so small without the seats folded down and the Si sedan has a great  backseat and great trunk space. 

I've had at least one of the last 3 generations of Si and I adore them. I've also had a 2g and 3g Fit. I want something that's a combo of both and Honda kind of offers that with the Civic Sport Hatch but no LSD is killer. The inner me would love to find a used 3g Fit, a 2017+ Si powertrain and do the swap but that's a pipe dream at the moment so I'd have to settle haha. 

 

mithrilperformance
mithrilperformance New Reader
6/11/19 2:02 p.m.

I've had mine since October and the only "improvement" I made was an Acuity pedal spacer to bring the throttle pedal up to a more comfortable position for heel toeing.  After 13K daily driving miles including several 7 hour trips its going to the track this month for its first official fun run.  

iwannarace
iwannarace New Reader
6/11/19 3:27 p.m.

I'm crazy enough to actually want to put 2 kid seats in the back and deal with that daily. Would the Si coupe fit two forward-facing child seats in back?

This car is growing on me. Also, how is life in traffic with the manual? Performance wise, is it an under steering pig, or fairly neutral like the R?

Rob357
Rob357 New Reader
6/11/19 3:43 p.m.

We've had our Si for a few months now. Still getting great mileage. Fun to drive. Can't wait for our first road trip.

OzCop
OzCop New Reader
6/12/19 12:09 p.m.

Loving mine...had it almost 6 months, but only driven 2600 miles so far. Mostly a dedicated autocross car I can comfortably drive to/from single day events. Local driving nets 31 to 34 mpg. I drove it to Mineral Wells a few weeks ago from my home 90 miles away and netted 38 mpg. Muffler delete, Tires, and wheels have been the only mod, but saved 55 lbs of weight. New rear sway bar arrives today, and that will be installed tomorrow. 

I sold a 2017 Focus ST to purchase this car, and the Focus has way more power, but the handling, and overall feel of confidence with this car makes it a better autocrosser than the Focus ST in my opinion...

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