Close your eyes. It"s 1999 again, and the civilization is on the cusp the a new millennium. By now, it"s greatly computerized, the Internet has grown from cult novelty to mainstream marketing machine, and also the worldwide population wonders if the Y2K programming glitch that threatens to undermine, well, just about everything, will certainly actually cause the earth to involved a standstill. Conversely, everyone is additionally just as passionate to celebrate. The 2000s carry hope that unfathomable technological advancement and opportunity, prefer so plenty of movies promised us, and the brand-new 1999 Honda civic Si coupe simply launched, 4 years after ~ Honda reduce the Si indigenous its U.S. Lineup. The relocate shows Honda has its ears to the asphalt, and also it heard the rumblings the the growing sport-compact car tuner step with every one of its hormonal hubris, youthful angst, and also rebellious spirit.  

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In a February 1999 push release, Honda said, "Honda has actually brought earlier the high-style, high-performance public Si in ~ a time as soon as a small-car power craze is scan the country. Everywhere, owners are editing and enhancing cars like the Honda public with enlarge wheels and also tires, custom paint and also graphics, body kits, and performance upgrades. Now, the 1999 public Si gives them what castle want, right from the factory."

And it mostly did. Once the 1999 Honda civic Si coupe debuted in ~ the Chicago Auto present with a $17,860 MSRP, it was an instant hit through young enthusiasts. Compare it v the standard public coupe, the Si coupe didn"t look vastly different, save for that 15-inch wheels, next skirts, and sportier front waiting dam.

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The real changes were under the sheet metal, with a amendment suspension that lugged a rear anti-roll bar, a 4-mm larger front anti-roll bar, 25-percent stiffer springs, four-wheel disc brakes, and a prior strut-tower brace to alleviate flex. However the 1999 civic Si coupe"s actual heart to be its highly tuned 1.6-liter engine, which included VTEC variable cam timing. Vice versa, the most potent the the lesser Civics made 127 horsepower at 6,600 rpm, the Si"s B16A2 engine churned the end 160 hp at 7,600 rpm, thanks to a larger throttle body, more-aggressive camer profiles, new intake and exhaust manifolds, a contempt over-square engine configuration v special low-friction pistons, and also a healthy 10.2:1 compression ratio.

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Even with these far-ranging improvements right from Honda, we doubt many public Si coupes continued to be stock for very long. ~ all, Honda"s own press release went for this reason far regarding offer quotes around the automobile from renowned industry tuners choose Oscar Jackson of Jackson Racing, and also even available a navard of i know well tuner slang. One entry reads, "Squeeze: one more name because that nitrous oxide, a pressurized gas which helps the engine make more power.—He to win me, but he was squeezin. "" How numerous 1999 (and after) Honda public Si coupes to be "squeezed" to fatality by your owners?

One thing"s because that sure: The sixth-generation Honda civic Si coupes that weren"t ruined by overzealous young vehicle lovers 2 decades back are currently worth a pretty penny. As the so late Gen X/early Millennial demographic periods into midlife, we uncover some seeking comfort in a mad world with nostalgia. Exactly how else to define a sub-6,000-mile, 2000 Honda civic Si coupe offering for $52,250?

That an outcome itself defines my nervousness today as Honda delivers an completely pristine 1999 public Si coupe to mine driveway with just north that 1,900 miles on the odometer. A cream puff, together they say. Then, a 2020 Honda civic Si rolfes in behind it, the an extremely same car I drove just weeks previously that already has an ext than dual the 1999"s miles. Together Jeff Lynne would sing, "… there"s gonna" be a showdown."

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If there"s a universal fact to just around all manufacturing cars throughout the previous two decades, it"s that they"ve obtained safer, but likewise larger and also heavier.

Open and also shut the door come the 1999 Honda civic Si, and also it almost feels toy-like contrasted with the 2020 model. Rise inside, and also you"re cure to lots of glass that renders the cabin feel airy and bright. The leather-covered steering wheel has actually a thin, virtually delicate-feeling rim, and the lanky five-speed transition lever juts from a center console that rises just inches above the floor. The center stack is an easy and uncluttered: just three rotary dials come the left and three buttons in ~ the bottom for climate control, 2 air vents in ~ the top, and a an are split 50/50 by a Honda-branded CD stereo and a cubby because that things prefer sunglasses and also your ancient Nokia dumbphone.

You need a physical key to begin the 1999 Honda public Si, and also upon inserting that in the ignition barrel, I have a nostalgic minute of mine own: This an essential is the same to that of my very first daily driver, a hand-me-down "89 Accord sedan, likewise equipped with a five-speed manual. The engine fires quietly and undramatically; the just real signs of this gift a performance car are the tool panel v its red-needled, 9,000-rpm tachometer (redlined in ~ 8,000 rpm), and also the stylized "Si" argorial atop the combo fuel/temp gauge. A 140-mph speedometer sit dead center, and the odometer reads 1,918 miles. There"s also plenty the 1990s new-car odor left.

Rolling off, the old public Si feels little on the road and relatively nimble; it just has about 2,600 pounds or so of curb weight to move around. The feeling is magnified with the incredible view that the roadway ahead through a tall, wide windscreen through thin, unobstructive A-pillars, and a surprisingly tall seating position with alongside no lateral support. No wonder therefore many children put race-style buckets in your Civics.

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Before acquisition the wheel that the 1999 Honda public Si coupe, I had preconceptions the a somewhat wild and also peaky engine, with a quick-revving nature and mild-turbo-like power delivery when the VTEC kicks in roughly 5,500 rpm to hydraulically move the cam-lobe profiles. Twenty-one year later, the fact is, well, not so engaging.

The 1.6-liter four-cylinder revs lazily come VTEC engagement, and while the last pair of thousand rpm coincide v a harder-edged, much more mechanical sound, I"m tho left waiting for any kind of noticeable change in power delivery. Really, the VTEC mill pulls fairly linearly to redline, and with simply 111 lb-ft that torque at 7,000 rpm, well, it doesn"t feel an especially potent. Period tests indicate a 0-60-mph time in the low 7-second range, and also that feels around right indigenous the driver"s seat. With the transmission"s brief gearing the lands redline upshifts best in the throes that VTEC activation, 70 mph top top the freeway is frantic, through the engine spinning at an ext than 3,000 rpm.

Today"s contemporary "sport suspension" options are usually too firm because that the road, however the 1999 Honda civic Si"s sports suspension delivers just the opposite. There"s many of body roll when the going it s okay twisty, and also the 195-width, 15-inch tires don"t need much provoking prior to you have the right to hear castle working. The upside to the fairly soft suspension is, the "99 public Si is a comfortable car, even over uneven road surfaces, and it doesn"t acquire unsettled very often. The downside is, we deserve to see why young wannabe tuners feeling Honda hadn"t unable to do far enough with the Si, adding their own aftermarket components to rotate the Si into the auto they thought it should have been indigenous the start. The result was generally taking points too far, including a too-loud "fart can" exhaust, a too-stiff and also too-low suspension setup, and a smorgasbord of other too-obnoxious "improvements."

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What would 1990s youngsters think that the 2020 Honda civic Si coupe? acquiring behind the wheel, the contemporary Civic"s cabin is dark and also cave-like, v a lot much less glass area and also a greater waistline the puts windowsills in ~ near-shoulder level fairly than elbow level. The facility console is likewise taller, with a shorter, stubbier transition lever (now 6 speeds). Whatever looks sportier, v black and red upholstery, a thicker-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel, heavily bolstered sport seats with "Si" logos, and a large, central digital tachometer v a usual 6,500-rpm redline.

On the road, the 2020 public Si coupe feels prefer a appropriate boy-racer car, v 205 hp indigenous its turbocharged, 1.5-liter four, but more importantly, an superior 192 lb-ft the torque from 2,100 rpm—nearly 5,000 rpm sooner than in the standard Civic. Little displacement to add a turbocharger method that acquiring on the throttle, you"ll wait a "one-Mississippi" counting for the impeller to spool up before you acquire all the engine has to give, however when it gets there, you"ll understand with a small shove in your backside and also an eager climb to redline.

Despite the turbocharger, the new car sounds more engaging than the 1999 civic Si, though most of the sound is nasally, piped-in induction noise, (especially in sports mode) as is par because that the course this days. What"s not engaging is the method the engine hangs its revs between upshifts; Honda says the exercise reduces emissions, yet we to speak it saps a fair amount that driver enjoyment. A tall sixth equipment is essentially an overdrive, through relaxed, sub-3,000-rpm freeway cruising.

Especially through the HPT (High power Tire) package, as our 235/40 R18 Goodyear Eagle F1-equipped 2020 civic Si featured, the newer automobile had us wishing because that a monitor to really reap its capabilities. Car haven"t simply grown larger and also heavier throughout the past 20 years; they"ve also become a lot much more capable. Together such, detect the borders on even something prefer a 2020 Honda civic Si HPT is difficult to perform on the street. The meaty gumballs in ~ all 4 corners feel prefer they"re thrust as broad as they have the right to go there is no fouling the fenders, and also the tight level is impressive. Twenty years ago, this new Civic Si coupe would have actually been a serious performance car, its lateral stability and also 6.5-second 0-60-mph time closer than you could think to what the Acura NSX supercar offered method back then. Today, a 2020 Acura NSX would eat the civic for breakfast and also be hungry because that seconds.

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The sixth-generation Honda public Si lasted just two model years: 1999 and also 2000. In 2001, the seventh-generation public launched and a year later, we got a brand-new Si model not in coupe form, yet as a two-door hatchback. Recently, Honda announced it will certainly discontinue the civic Si coupe after the 2020 model year ~ above the grounds that the brutally fast Civic kind R"s four-door hatchback body style has again turn enthusiasts" performance mindset away from coupes. However with a new 11th-generation public on the horizon, will certainly the public Si return as a hatchback once again? Don"t be surprised.

Compact size, great visibilityDoesn"t feel specifically quick or sporty, yet it is comfortableApproachable boundaries on actual roads gives huge smiles
Larger, heavier car, cave-like interior, however far an ext luxury functions than in the pastSpeed and capability the 1999 model have the right to only dream ofA much more focused, more serious sporting activities coupe but at the expense of simplicity

1999 Honda civic Si Specifications

ON SALE21 years ago
PRICE$17,860 (base)
ENGINE1.6L DOHC 16-valve I-4/160 hp
7,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION5-speed manual
LAYOUT2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, FWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE26/31 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H175.1 x 67.1 x 54.1 in
WEIGHT2,612 lb
0-60 MPH7.2 sec
TOP SPEED127 mph

2020 Honda civic Si HPT Specifications

PRICE$26,130/$26,130 (base/as tested)
ENGINE1.5L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/205 hp
2,100-5,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION6-speed manual
LAYOUT2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, FWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE26/36 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H177.3 x 70.9 x 54.7 in
WEIGHT2,889 lb
0-60 MPH6.5 sec (est)
TOP SPEED130 mph (est)