Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  Honda Civic EG Hatchback Engineering - The Geek
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Honda Civic EG Hatchback Engineering - The Geek

Give Us What We Want Dammit! Part 1

Mike Kojima
Nov 1, 2008
Turp_0811_01_pl+honda_civic_eg_hatchback_engineering+side_view Photo 1/2   |   Honda Civic EG Hatchback Engineering - The Geek

At a recent time attack event, I was lamenting the seem-ingly sad state of the import performance industry with Gary Kubo, Chris Rado's crew chief. We discussed things like Chinese knockoff companies hurting innovation, lack of good event coverage, the Internet, the plethora of things competing for people's time, and the difference between hard-core enthusiasts and fronters.

Afterward, I came to another interesting conclusion: We're running out of desirable cars to build. Our old favorite cars are becoming hard to find. Parts are becoming scarce and the new compact segment lacks enthusiast appeal. Also, the size, weight, and price of some of our favorite compact cars have been creeping upward since our movement began. Yes, we understand that emission and safety standards are responsible for some of this, but the overall increase isn't acceptable.

2019 Honda Civic
$21,450 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy

Look at the Honda Civic. The classic EG or EK Civic weighed around 2,300 to 2,400 pounds and cost $10,000 to $14,000 brand new. It had multilink suspension all around and a light, stiff body. These older Civics were the best-engineered performance front-wheel-drive compact cars ever. The current Civic Si can weigh nearly 3,000 pounds, is the size of an older Accord, has lame strut front suspension, and can cost nearly $30,000 for a pimped-out version. The EG was small, light, nimble, good looking, and affordable. It was the ultimate blank canvas for the young enthusiast. It was also smaller than the current super-mini B-segment Fit.

Turp_0811_02_z+honda_civic_eg_hatchback_engineering+front_left_view Photo 2/2   |   Honda Civic EG Hatchback Engineering - The Geek

The Nissan B13 Sentra SE-R was a small, light, affordable, and powerful car that looked like a Japanese version of a BMW 3 Series when it was introduced in the early 1990s. The size of early Maximas, it has evolved into a mini tank, weighing 3,000 pounds and costing over twice that of the original. Every Sentra since the B13 has been worse for the enthusiast than its predecessor. Nissan has been steadily losing performance fans in the compact market since the B13. In SoCal, I see more Ferraris than late-model Sentra SE-Rs. Heck, I've seen exactly two of them on the street since they were introduced two years ago.

Likewise, the Nissan 240SX was a lightweight, good-looking, rear-wheel-drive coupe. Unfortunately, Nissan decided to neuter the car before bringing it to North America by not offering the SR20DET motor that it came with in Japan. Nissan also chose not to bring over the fast, moderately priced, lightweight, good-handling, handsome S15 Silvia. Instead, Nissan brought us the 350Z, which is a capable car but also heavy and expensive.

The Toyota AE86 Corolla was the epitome of classic compact car performance. Lightweight, nimble, rear-wheel drive with a crisp, classic styling that still looks good today. Toyota hasn't gotten it right since. Instead, it gave us the Scion tC, all 3,100 pounds of underpowered image and attitude. Likewise, the compact, crisp, rear-wheel-drive Celica has been reduced to a high-strung, expensive front-wheel-drive coupe, which has been discontinued.

Mitsubishi quit making the cool-but-undiscovered turbo Mirage, and instead brought us the Lancer OZ fake Evo. (Yawn.) It also turned the cool DSM twins into the weird-looking, lame, heavy, expensive, and slow current Eclipse. At least they brought in the Evo, which is an ultra capable but heavy, complex, and expensive car.

If our scene is diminishing the blame should be focused on the manufacturers. Next month, I'll offer these manufacturers some solutions and tell them exactly what we, as enthusiasts, want.-Mike

By Mike Kojima
55 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

If you love the way the Honda Civic Type R drives but wish it stood out more, the folks at Mugen have the solution
Collin WoodardJan 16, 2019
How do you make the Volkswagen GTI even better? Just add the letters “TCR” and crank up the boost.
Ed TahaneyJan 16, 2019
Just about the only thing that can improve the supercar experience is taking the roof off, especially when the change results in basically no penalties to weight, performance, or dynamics
Erik JohnsonJan 16, 2019
Look out Honda and VAG; Hyundai has just rolled out its new Veloster N race car that will compete in TCR (touring car) classes globally, including the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in the U.S.
Ed TahaneyJan 15, 2019
A limited-edition, thoroughly revised WRX STI that’s only for the U.S., the S209 has more power, more grip, and plenty of chassis upgrades.
Aaron GoldJan 14, 2019
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP