The new 1999 Civic Si

by joe rogers

You know, I thought the cheering over the new b16a powered Si would make me deaf. But instead, the only noises I hear are complaints. Its too heavy, its not a hatchback, its just a b16. Sheesh, our prayers were answered. AH! But why is it a Coupe?

Why the Coupe:
First you have to start with the passing of the Si HB. Why did Honda kill the 92-95 Si HB? Poor sales. The coupe EX was out-selling it viscously. Honda didn't kill the HB Si, the consumers did. The sales figures showed that the Si HB was a poor seller, and probably not needed. It also didn't fit into Honda's typical trim level. There is only one top-of-the-line. The Si HB and Coupe EX were clearly competing with each other. Thus the poor seller got the ax. However, in the years without the Si, the hybrid scene really took off. Honda noticed. The ITR is proof. But they also didn't forget. We know that hardcore racers would demand a lightweight HB body for the B16A. But there aren't enough hardcore racers to go around. If they were so hardcore, they wouldn't have been buying so many heavy-ass Coupe EXs. The new home of the B16A is a coupe because the sales figures told Honda to make it a coupe. If you want to blame someone, blame every 93-95 Coupe EX owner you see. Or just accept that to many, the Coupe just looks cooler.

You can't compare the Coupe to the Hatchback. Not fair. If you want a fast HB, then get a base stripper, buy a Type-R swap package from Jerome Soh, and your hooked for the same price as a 1999 Si. You'll kick ass on the Si all day long. But the Si will have sunroof, A/C, cruise control, and a CD player. You have a choice. Oh, but what about financing? You need a down on the HB and then another 4-5K cash for the swap. And, what about a warranty? Are you comfortable with buying a brand new car, then tossing the motor for a used one? Which Hybrid is better, the light-weight, or the one with the warranty? The answer will not be the same for everyone.

The Coupe weighs in at 2612 lbs. according to Honda's website. I've seen complaints over this figure, but it's realistic for the trim level of the car. With A/C, a sunroof, and much more the weight will add up, but it will be a nicer car to live with. But most importantly, it comes with a B16A stock. No other new Honda model does. And even with almost 400 lbs. more than the base HB, which car do you think will be faster? And which car will accept JDM Civic Type-R cams? Which car will kick ass with a free flow intake, exhaust, and Field SFC-VTEC? Which car is capable of 130hp/L and still pass CA smog?

The Obvious:
One more totally obvious reasons the HB couldn't receive the b16A. The Acura Integra GS-R. A sub 2400 lb. B16A powered HB would be faster than the GS-R. That would upset the balance of the Honda Civic/Acura Integra value/performance step up.

Better than the past B16A home:
I'll tell you what, the Coupe is a much more appealing location for the B16A than the Del Sol was! Regardless of appearance issue, the coupe has a stiffer chassis. You can't deny that.

Who is going to buy it?:
I hope the Si does well. If its not for you, then convince your significant other that its for them. Tell your mechanically impaired friends that its a cool car. Make sure it sells. Find a way. Here's two good reasons:
#1 If the Si is successful, it opens doors to more vehicles like it. We could get a HB Si-R, or perhaps a 4-door B18C Civic (like in the U.K.). If it fails, then kiss the good stuff buh-bye!
#2 More b16a motors in the US! Inevitably some will get wrecked, and a super fresh donor motor for your next project will become available. How about a 1989 CRX Si with a 1999 Si motor?

Stop complaining! Complaining is not going to make it better. SALES will make it better.

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