There’s nothing like being first to give you a warm feeling of self-satisfied smugness. So says Honda, anyway, judging from the assured and confident looks darting back and forth among staffers during their 2005 SEMA Auto Show press conference introducing the Honda Civic Si Sport Concept, a red hot rendition of an already red hot car. So you could say that it’s more a sizzle than a smugness. And you could say that they’ve earned it, as they were arguably the first to re-stoke the fires of the tuner crowd and to turn them on to customizing import vehicles, and now they are the first import automaker to sponsor SEMA. It’s easy to see why, with concepts such as the Honda Civic Si Sport Concept –- made to light up the eyeballs of every tuner within 50 miles while Honda dealers conveniently sell a new line of Honda Factory Performance (HFP) suspension and body kits. The HFP kits are for the 2006 Civic Si, Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe and feature performance-oriented suspension components along with larger wheels, tires, aerodynamic body kits and, for the first time ever, an HFP muffler. Fancy that: New kits, sold at the dealer, and very much like that Anniversary White Pearl, partial-carbon fiber beaut under klieg lights in Vegas. Also featured on the Si Sport Concept is a rear carbon diffuser and a center exhaust outlet, and an adjustable, two-piece carbon fiber wing spoiler. An advanced, track-tuned suspension package lowers the Sport Concept Civic Si and Brembo brakes grace all four wheels. Dream on. If you can’t shake the image of the concept, however, you can almost get there by purchasing a regular Honda Civic Si with its 197 horsepower VTEC engine, and fun-to-fling ride and handling. Then you can pick up an HFP kit and really get serious.
Photo courtesy of Honda