2017 Honda Civic Si Hot Laps at Road America
2017 Civic Si filled our heads with confidence and excitement despite standing water, slippery tarmac and pelting rain.
Just as Honda allows the world’s press to drive the new Civic Type R in Montreal this week, I look back at my time behind the wheel of a similar Honda — the 2017 Civic Si. It may not feature a massive rear wing and cartoonish body lines, but unlike the Type R, it can roam the streets without causing a commotion.
It was a typical May morning in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The home to the famous Road America, a race track known for misty, bitter-cold mornings which give way to hot and humid afternoons. This time though, “misty” was more like “torrential.” I grew frustrated as the clock was ticking and the weather conditions worsened. Meanwhile, a sleek 2017 Civic Si coupe in Aegean Blue Metallic sat grounded on the paddock. We were waiting for race control (or OEM representatives) to give hot-lapping a thumbs up.
Eventually, and quite shockingly to be honest, the massive green light on pit lane lit up and it was time to rock ‘n roll. After squeezing my way into the cockpit with a race helmet on, I glanced at the controls and attempted to fine tune my driving position. Oddly, it was something which I never truly achieved. I attached my GoPro to the driver’s side window, hit record, and… wait what? Dammit, no SD card!
It was too late, I couldn’t hold back the program and affect the vehicle’s rotation. I had to go. I lined up on pit lane and hit Road America with extreme caution. While I’ve lapped this track in vehicles ranging from Dodge Hellcats to Acura NSXs, the track conditions were cold and soaked. You know, the complete opposite of what they should be.
Feeling out the turbo Civic Si on a wet track.
My first lap was all about getting a feel for the steering, the tires and the 205-horsepower turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder engine. But more importantly, the brakes. A communicative and willing-to-modulate brake pedal was key to a successful wet lap. Power delivery was impressive, and the noise the little coupe produced was intoxicating. I enjoyed every minute of it, even if I couldn’t record it.
After hopping out of the Civic Si it became apparent that several folks had opted to delay their drive, and wait for the weather to improve. I took advantage of this, and strapped up for a second outing. This time with a fellow colleague in the passenger seat, and with a bit of an audience, as she “FB-lived” the entire thing. Furthermore, I didn’t tweak the angle of my GoPro as much as I should’ve, so I didn’t quite catch the digital speedo on the dash amongst other things.
If you’re dying to know, I achieved about 80 mph on the straights, but was able to hit couple corners around the 40-60-mph mark. In my opinion, not too shabby given the conditions. In the end, I was able to enjoy the Civic Si’s incredible balance and willingness to play.
Don’t take my word for it, watch the video, and then read Honda-Tech editor’s full review of the 2017 Civic Si!
Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>
Video via: [DrivesWGirls]