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2017 Honda Civic Si - Making the Best Si Better

Critics say it's the best Si to date. GReddy makes it even better.

Aaron Bonk
Jul 9, 2018
Photographer: Viet Nguyen

For 34 years, Honda's Civic Si has stood for the sort of things you care about. Things like multi-point fuel injection when less-fortunate trims made do with a carburetor or two fewer injectors. Things like variable valve timing and even twin-cam B16As when the Si's underlings often scraped by with eight-valve one-cam wonders that were good for half as much power. The Si has always stood for something special, and yet GReddy seems to always know what it takes, exactly, to make it better.

2017 honda civic si greddy intercooler Photo 2/19   |   2017 Honda Civic Si Greddy Intercooler

Making the current Si better starts with the Irvine, California-based performance parts maker updating the premier Civic's means of forced induction. Until recently, talk of Civics and turbochargers always had something to do with the aftermarket—someone like GReddy, for instance—and a specialized arrangement of turbo-inducing bits made for engines never meant to wolf down anything beyond atmospheric pressure. But tightening emissions standards means companies like Honda can no longer go on producing the sort of moderate-displacement, naturally aspirated engines its Si has become famous for, which means a compromise had to be made—one in which an Earth-friendly 1.5L engine makes nice with a small-frame turbocharger to help make up for that missing half-liter of displacement. The results are emissions low enough to satisfy the eco heroes and performance good enough to keep your K24-loving self-appeased—all for around $24,000.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

You think the Civic Si's downsizing from a 2.0L K-series to something just 1.5L in girth was a mistake and you'd be dead wrong. Pit the current Si against any of its predecessors, review the numbers, and you'll see that, all of a sudden, 1.5L doesn't look so bad. It turns out that your jubilance ends there, though, as is often the case with any factory-supplied turbo. The good news is that GReddy, too, knows this.

2017 honda civic si greddy exhaust Photo 6/19   |   2017 Honda Civic Si Greddy Exhaust

GReddy is also among the first to do something about it. And by doing something about it, we're talking about the Garrett GT2554R turbo its team went on to retrofit onto its own tenth-generation Civic Si. Gone are the days where the constraints of you finding enough room underneath your hood—and perhaps the dollars you didn't have—were the only things standing in between you and a turbocharged D-series. Today's Civics are made up of electronics so complex they'll make that '93 Civic Si's P28 ECU of yours look about as sophisticated as a transistor radio. As such, proper tuning is paramount, and for that GReddy looked to Hondata and its FlashPro engine management.

2017 honda civic si greddy sirius vision meter Photo 7/19   |   2017 Honda Civic Si Greddy Sirius Vision Meter

It's all a part of the comprehensive turbo upgrade GReddy's set to release for the current Si and that the company's been developing for some time now. And it's all very much reminiscent of Civic Si turbo kits of GReddy's past, like its wildly popular '92 to '95 Civic Si system of the late-'90s. Like that Baywatch-era turbo kit, GReddy's tenth-gen upgrade is every bit as all-inclusive. While comparable turbo kits of the era required end-users to come up with their own solutions to doing things like fool that MAP sensor or back off ignition timing, GReddy had—and has—it all figured out. Aside from the turbo and ECU upgrade, its current system is made up of an intercooler capable of the impending increased intake air temperature, an oil cooler designed to do the same for what's flowing throughout that crankcase, and every tube, clamp, and bracket you'd need to piece it all together—just like those kits from the '90s.

GReddy's tenth-generation Si makes good on its ability to turn out more boost and horsepower than what Honda says it's supposed to have, but there's more to it. It's been planted firmly to the pavement by way of KW Suspensions coilovers along with Volk CE28SLs wrapped inside of Nexen N'fera rubber. Inside, GReddy treated it to the minimal essentials, like bucket seating and harnesses from Sparco, a custom harness bar, and instrumentation by way of GReddy's own SIRIUS Vision meter—the firm's cutting-edge, electro-luminescent display that tells whomever's behind the wheel of that Civic just about everything they need to know.

2017 honda civic si sparco bucket seats Photo 11/19   |   2017 Honda Civic Si Sparco Bucket Seats

Those who valued things like fuel injection, 91 hp, and four extra valves welcomed Honda's inaugural Civic Si. Later, the Si badge was associated with one of Honda's most popular engines to date, the B16A2, and still later, the top-notch Civic went on to be matched with the equally impressive K20Z3, a limited-slip differential, and six gears. The 10th gen continues on that success with features like a 205hp turbo inline-four, bigger brakes and adaptive dampers. For more than three decades those are the sort of things Honda's Si's stood for, and for more than three decades, GReddy's been making them even better.

2017 honda civic si volk CE28SL Photo 15/19   |   2017 Honda Civic Si Volk CE28SL
2017 honda civic si headlight Photo 19/19   |   2017 Honda Civic Si Headlight
By Aaron Bonk
405 Articles
2017 Honda Civic Si - Making the Best Si Better
Tuning Menu
Owner: GReddy
Hometown: Irvine, CA
Occupation: You already know!
Engine: GReddy prototype turbo upgrade, front mount intercooler, oil cooler, oil filter, and prototype exhaust system; Koyo radiator; Hondata FlashPro engine management
Footwork & Chassis: KW Suspension coilovers
Wheels & Tires: 18x9" +45 Volk Racing CE28SL wheels; 255/35R18 Nexen N'fera SUR4G tires; Project KICS R40 Iconix lug nuts
Exterior: GReddy front lip spoiler; Honda OEM accessory underbody spoiler and side skirts INTERIOR Sparco bucket seats and harnesses; custom harness bar; GReddy shift knob and SIRIUS Vision meter
Interior: Sparco bucket seats and harnesses; custom harness bar; GReddy shift knob and SIRIUS Vision meter

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