A few years ago there was a story going around that the 335i, with minimal tuning, could be more powerful than the same generation’s M3, and that BMW was none too pleased with how easily the cheaper car could be altered to be better than the more expensive one (at least in this one area). We’re not sure if this interesting little tale falls into the same category of Easter egg, but it sure seems like the type of thing any performance car consumer shopping for a Civic should be aware of. The video is from Honda engine management gurus Hondata, and chief guru Doug Macmillan basically explains how the run-of-the-mill, 1.5-liter turbocharged tenth generation of the econo-box is actually faster than the top-of-the-line, 2.4-liter naturally aspirated Civic Si of the previous gen. Say what?
On paper, the compacts match up thusly: the tenth gen. boasts a compression ratio of 10.6:1, intake and exhaust camshaft control, direct injection, 16.5psi of boost pressure, and is rated at 174 horsepower (hp) and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. Thanks to technological efficiencies from the turbo, cam phasing, direct injection, and continuously variable transmission (CVT), among other features, the newer Civic gets over 30mpg city and over 40 on the highway.
The N/A ninth gen. has a compression ratio of 11.0:1, camshaft control on just the intake cam, and traditional port-style injection. It’s rated at 205hp and 174 lb.-ft. of torque and is estimated to get 22 city and 31 highway mpg.
The tale of the tape (or in this case, the 1s and 0s) is quite compelling. Pulls on both the street and the freeway indeed suggest the newer car – not marketed at all for performance – is faster than the non-turbo K24 machine. Go figure.
But the video is just the tip of the iceberg. Hondata is putting both cars on the dyno next, and of course all of this is being done because the company is looking to put some development into engine management for the 10th-gen. Civic. For more about Hondata and its complete line of Honda tuning paraphernalia, head on over to their website.