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Perspective on the Civic Si 1.5T engine choice

7798 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  JS2000
Is it disappointing that Honda chose the 1.5L engine instead of the 2.0L? Personally for us, the answer is no, but I understand why many of you are upset. I think to get the full take on this situation, you have to really have to consider where the Si model sits in relation to the Type R. Let me explain this a little more from our point of view:

Even though we all love the idea of an inexpensive 2.0L turbo engine that you could tune to a bonkers amount of power, it is just overkill in stock form for the goals of the Si model. If you want a crazy amount of power for your FWD Civic, the Type R will be the car to get. Make no mistake though, compared to previous generous, this Si is definitely going to be a step forward, and with an intake, exhaust, and a tune, I imagine the car will output 260 hp or so at the flywheel. The engine technology Honda is using in these new engines is much much more advanced than previous generations...so you can't be disappointed by the car just due to the engine size alone. For example, the new 1.5L 4 cylinder turbo engine is more capable than the 3.0L V6 200 hp engine from a 1998 to 2002 Honda Accord. I know that is looking a ways back into the past, but it just goes to show how the perception of what a certain engine size can do needs to adjust a lot over time due to technology advances.

If you were to get in the new Si without knowing what size engine was in there you would probably not know it was a 1.5L. Our 174 hp 1.5T manual transmission sedan feels like the previous 2.4L Si to me (we'll have a video review and some tests in the coming weeks). In terms of modification potential, the Si's 1.5L will probably be easily capable of 280 hp while the Type R could be capable of almost 400 hp, assuming both have full bolts-ons and a tune. These are both extremely strong and well built engines that pack a huge punch for their size. V6s and large displacement motors are not where engine technology is progressing, at least with Honda and other forward looking OEMs.

Plus, with the decision to use the 1.5T motor, now you have the lower curb weight, cheaper price, better fuel economy, etc. while still being fast and engaging to drive. I believe this all fits squarely in line with what the Si model is suppose to be in this lineup of Civics. The bottom line it is going to be the most fun to drive Si built to date when compared with all previous stock models. With the high torque #s this is going to feel pretty fast and probably be a lot of fun around a track or AutoX course and with great reliability. If you want a 300+ hp crazy beast of a FWD car, you should be looking at the Type R.

In any case, we'll be getting an Si and having a ton of fun with it. I hope others in the market for this type of car will at least test drive it before making their final decision.
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Some days I hit the gas on my 1.5l CVT Touring Coupe and I swear it feels like a v6 motor under the hood. I've been thoroughly impressed and I came into the situation expecting it to drive much much worse.

Very interested to hear what the Si model is going to put out power wise. I hope they announce it soon.
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Tuners are going to be all over the Si once it comes out. Some people are griping about the lack of a k20 vtec engine, but then most people wouldn't be able to afford one.
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The 1.5 being in the Si is perfect and just makes sense in relation to the Type R having a 2.0t. Why would they put the same crazy 2.0t motor in both of them and screw up pricing on the Si. The Si where it is stays true to what they have been doing. The Si however will, in my opinion, receive majority of the attention in terms of tuning and what not with a potential of much higher possibilities.
260 to 280 HP only makes sense if the bottom end can handle the increase. I wonder how different this 1.5L turbo is compared to the 1.5L that is in the CRZ and FIT. When Bismoto built a high HP CRZ, he did a lot of work on the bottom and top end of the engine.
I think 1.5t engine for Civic Si is an obvious choice.......
People just expect too much for Si.....its Si not Type R~~~ lol
A high horsepower anything requires a lot of work on the bottom and top end lol. With the old B18s, anything over 350~hp and you would need to build the heads, go a bit above that and the bottom end should be rebuilt too. That's not even considered high horsepower either
260 to 280 HP only makes sense if the bottom end can handle the increase. I wonder how different this 1.5L turbo is compared to the 1.5L that is in the CRZ and FIT. When Bismoto built a high HP CRZ, he did a lot of work on the bottom and top end of the engine.
The bottom end is much much stronger on this motor than the CRZ or the FIT.
I think Honda had to go 1.5 for SI for pricing points and to keep the Type R exclusive. If they put a 2.0T in the SI they probably price it in the high 20s or low 30s pushing the Type R into the 40 range. The SI was always the sporty but affordable tuner car. They dont want to price out SI buyers.
We also have to factor in things like emissions which do often result in a smaller displacement engine, even if the differences in MPG's aren't that much to us. And as we all know emissions are focused on big time during this automotive era.
Manufacturers are struggling to meet fuel economy standards, and they are set to continually rise each year it is putting a lot of pressure on auto makers. Almost every manufacturer is moving into small displacement turbo motors now.

This 1.5 l turbo motor is the most fuel efficient motor I've ever owned, it's a good balance between economy and power.
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