The consensus that has emerged about the latest Civic Si is that it is an apparent return to form for the sport compact that arguably helped ignite the tuner movement. Touched by Honda engineers in all the right places, you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief that came from hardcore fans of the brand as details of the FG-chassis coupe first surfaced. Shortly thereafter, positive notices began circulating in the automotive press, and it was evident that the media was just as smitten with the car as the Honda faithful. Consumers have seemingly followed suit, responding to the re-imagined Si by keeping them in high demand.
For performance-minded types that worried the big H had lost its way, and Honda haters that predicted the company's competitive demise, the rollout of the new Si essentially asked the automotive world, with authority, "How ya' like me now?"
In expected Honda fashion, the company's Factory Performance division has glommed on to the vehicle and developed a set of bolt-ons for the revised Si, as well as parts for its Civic lineup siblings.
For the Si, HFP offers a retuned suspension with different springs and dampers, 18x7-inch wheels, a sport muffler, a full body kit and an HFP badge, all for a suggested $3,900. HFP packages for the sedan and coupe include the suspension upgrade, body kit, emblem, 17x6.5-inch rims, and a rear spoiler for $3,680 and $3,181, respectively (no muffler is offered for either non-Si).
Having driven previous HFP-prepped vehicles-to much satisfaction-we thought we'd shake down its '06 Si for a couple weeks. As it turns out, the coupe's performance isn't terribly dissimilar from the unmolested Si, but perhaps that isn't the point. We're sensing the design team had altogether different motives when fleshing out the HFP package for this Civic.
First, and perhaps most salient, is how the kit alters the two-door's appearance. From the initial once-over, everything works in balance, harmoniously, to create a much more buff-looking vehicle.
A subtle set of body cladding-namely forward and rear bumper covers and side skirts-works remarkably well to flare out the lowest edges around the entire body, giving the Si a wider stance. Filling the wheelwells are exceedingly hot-for-O.E. 7-spoke, G35-looking 18's. Additionally, HFP coils tucked up into each corner drop the ride height an inch, allowing the chassis to assume a mean crouch.
As your gaze drifts around to the coupe's ass, two surprises: a fresh-looking muffler and a badge proclaiming this Si's HFP-ness. All the parts integrate seamlessly into the FG body, making everything we dig about the coupe-sharp windshield rake, meaty flanks, TSX-like banded headlights, rear wing-even that much sweeter.
Behind the wheel and on the road, the HFP Civic handles the stresses of spirited driving incrementally better than its unadulterated form. Stiffer dampers and springs rated higher than stock do a commendable job at soaking up the road and keeping the car reasonably planted. Also helping it hook up is upgraded rubber wrapped around each roller, Dunlop SP Sport FM901 tires sized 215/40ZR-18. In conjunction with the Si's OE limited-slip diff, the tires and suspension make the car feel like it's on rails.
The HFP mods get high marks for ratcheting up the new Si's style. If anything, they left us wanting a little more in the way of an actual boost in power, but that just gives owners license to blow their work bonuses on supercharger kits and turbos and such. The HFP grip can be installed at the time of Civic purchase, or purchased later and installed individually, and the packages provide the same factory warranty as the rest of the vehicle.