A few weeks back Doug Macmillan from Hondata posited a thought-provoking claim via YouTube video, specifically that the latest generation Honda Civic EX-T is faster, at least initially, than the previous gen. Civic Si. On the surface this struck us as a little counterintuitive; the 9th-generation Si has some 900cc more displacement and a manual gearbox, while the 10th-gen. has a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The difference, it turns out, is that turbocharger under the hood of the 10th gen., as well as its direct injection and intake and exhaust camshaft control. The newer EX-T outran the Si on the street and freeway, and Macmillan promised more analysis was on the way.
Well, it’s here, and continues to be impressive. In this latest edit, Hondata puts both compacts on the Dynapack chassis dynamometers at Church Automotive Testing in Wilmington, Calif., and employs its FlashPro tuning and data logging tool to gather data. While it was admittedly difficult to dyno the EX-T due to its CVT, Macmillan was still able to get numbers – 177.5 horsepower, 190.4 lb.-ft. of torque – which happen to be more than what Honda rates the car at the crankshaft.
Max boost pressure was a tad shy of the factory stated number, 14psi versus 16.5psi, but the biggest takeaway was the side-by-side overlay of both cars’ best passes. It indicated that while the 2.4L Si makes more power, the 1.5L EX-T indeed makes more torque. For people who know about boost, this will probably come as no surprise.
What may be unexpected is what transpired at the drag strip. Hondata took both Civics out to Auto Club Dragway in Fontana and proceeded to hustle the cars down the 1/8th mile (the track didn’t give them the entire quarter mile because winds were gusting something fierce). In sport mode, the EX-T made off with the Si’s lunch money, putting down a 10.037 at 71.19mph, while the Si could only muster a 10.266 at 69.93mph. It got interesting when Macmillan switched the EX-T into Economy mode, but you’ll have to watch the video to see how it ends.
At one point in the video, Macmillan says he’d like test out a manual transmissioned 1.5L turbo Civic in the future, but that may never happen. We hear that Honda will only make Civic turbos with CVT (unless that Civic happens to be a Type R, then all bets are off). We’d like to see the face off, too, but until that point Macmillan says he has more in store for this current comparo. We can’t wait to check out what’s next!