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 |   |  Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe
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Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe

A proper sendoff to the now discontinued two-door Civic option that spanned five generations.

Rodrez
Aug 5, 2020

With the recent announcement that the long-running Civic family would no longer be accompanied by the Honda Civic Coupe, we thought it would be a good idea to grab some images and story links to a handful of the feature stories we've put together over the years in order to bid farewell to the 2-door with a trunk.

Farewell Civic Coupe 5th Gen Civic Photo 62/62   |   Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe

Making a late entrance to the fifth-generation Civic lineup, the coupe was debuted in the U.S. as a '93 model year option, giving potential buyers a third model to choose from. From an enthusiast perspective, the '92-95 hatchback of that era reigned supreme and that continues to this day, but the coupe has always held a special place for fans that wanted to step away from the masses, while still sticking with the affordable, easy-to-work-on, versatile Civic platform.

Taking Advantage of the 5th Gen. Coupe's Engine Options
Spotless green K20 coupe
J35 V6 track car

Farewell Civic Coupe EM1 Coupe Photo 62/62   |   Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe

It might come as a shock to some, but coupe sales dried up considerably in the latter part of the 2-door's run. For those who were around the Honda community in the late '90s, the EM1 Civic Si, the first ever U.S.-offered Civic with DOHC VTEC power (technically it was the del Sol that arrived first in the mid-'90s with a B16 model, but we're talking coupe/hatch/sedan here) was welcomed with open arms by Stateside fans. Many of those enthusiasts had already been busy swapping and abusing imported B16s and, on occasion, del Sol VTEC swaps, and were primed for a model that came equipped with the high-revving workhorse. At a time when import performance enthusiasm was at an all-time high, Honda execs took notice and listened to U.S. fans, granting them a step-up in performance from the SOHC-based powerplant that had been relied on to power the previous U.S. Civic generations.

A Sample of B- and Turbo K-Power
OEM+ style '96 Coupe
700+HP Sleeper

Farewell Civic Coupe K Swapped EM2 Photo 62/62   |   Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe

For the seventh iteration of the Civic family, the coupe would return but the excitement that accompanied the EM1 was long gone, and the EM2, armed with a far less potent SOHC 1.7L, wasn't a huge hit among the aftermarket crowd. Expectations surrounding the Si hatchback were high but never fully realized, as the often-criticized European-styled hatchback failed to produce the same sort of fanfare the previous three generations did, and without an "EM1-esque" special edition or more potent performance offering, all-out coupe builds were few and far between. Even to this day we don't see nearly as many EM2 builds as its siblings.

K-Power to Update the EM2
K20-swapped EM2
K24-powered EM2

Farewell Civic Coupe Turbo Civic Coupe Photo 62/62   |   Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe

As Honda rolled into the eighth-generation Civic model, the coupe would once again return, and this time packing a 2.0L DOHC VTEC power plant like its sedan counterpart and minus a hatchback option. Other than the doors, the Si coupe and sedan were very similar, though many felt the proportions worked better visually on the 4-door model. Add to that a Japanese counterpart that many enthusiasts took upon themselves to graft the front and rear ends from, and it managed to outsell the coupe considerably. Regardless of dealer sales, the coupe retained an avid following, and built and boosted examples, as well as bulked-up naturally aspirated and often 2.4L-swapped versions, made a huge impact on the Honda movement that seemed to be basking in the K-series glow—an engine that Honda had no idea would snowball into an aftermarket golden child, now swapped into just about every pre-ninth-gen. Honda chassis, and has even seen some cross-platform success.

Supercharged 2.4L 8th-Gen. Fun
Hasport's supercharged K24 '06 coupe

Farewell Civic Coupe PZ Tuning 9th Gen Civic Photo 62/62   |   Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe

As good as the eighth gen. proved to be to coupe fans, the ninth-generation lineup was a bit strange. The K20 that accompanied the previous Si was beloved, yet Honda felt it needed a bump in torque. Typically, this is a great thing, but many scoffed at the use of an integrated exhaust manifold that was chosen for its economics during production as well as its emissions-friendly output. As a result, K24Z7 engines haven't found their way into older chassis very often and are typically avoided, though more recently they've picked up with their low purchase price, especially among the cross-platform swap crowd. One build to note that utilizes the Z7 head is Bisimoto's high-powered, AWD-converted Civic wagon. Similar to the generation that came before it, ninth-gen. buyers seemed to be gravitating toward sedans rather than coupes, and the declining sales trend continued.

The Fastest Time Attack Civic on the Planet
Turbo 9th gen. Time Attack Champ

Farewell Civic Coupe FK8 Swapped Si Coupe Photo 62/62   |   Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe

Something Civic fans probably never expected from Honda was a turbocharged powerplant. After nine generations of efficient, often high-revving naturally aspirated motivation, a jump to turbo power, prompted both by emissions standards and Hondas reading of the room with much of its competition having already embraced forced induction, the 10th iteration of the Civic family now sports boost for the coupe and sedan Si, along with the lower models, 5-door hatchback and, of course, the long-anticipated Civic Type R. Honda's choice to bring in turbo Civic models (a first for the brand in the U.S.) was met with as much celebration as it was skepticism, with many doubting the 1.5L would be able to generate much gain from the aftermarket. Not long after, minds were quickly changed as manufacturers began rolling out parts to easily bring the 200-ish factory horsepower up considerably with just minor changes.

Embracing the boost of the 10th Gen.
GReddy '17 Si coupe

As with the models that came before it, the sedan and hatchback options far outsold the 2-door, and earlier this year Honda announced the coupe will no longer be in production. As for the immediate future, the 10th-gen. Civic chapter is coming to a close, as we prepare for the next version of Honda's almost 50-year run with the Civic nameplate, but we'll never forget about the coupes that, though they may never see production again (but never say never - Ed.) leave behind multiple chassis just begging to be built and enjoyed by the enthusiast who wants the relatively unlimited options afforded by the Civic platform, while slightly separating themselves from the masses.

Farewell Civic Coupe EM1 03 1 Photo 62/62   |   Say It Ain't So - Saying Goodbye To The Honda Civic Coupe
By Rodrez
889 Articles

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