Honda’s hoping the new Civic Si coupe and sedan will give fans of big horsepower in small packages something to savor.

The Si has a high-performance, high-torque 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, with direct injection and—for the first time—a turbocharger. This engine generates 205 horsepower, compared with the 180 hp of the current top-of-the-line Civic. The Si will come with a six-speed manual transmission.

The car “sets a new sporty compact benchmark in terms of agility and precise handling,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of the automobile division at American Honda.

For the tuner crowd, the new Si adds a sportier design with a black “wing” front fascia and large side air intakes, along with 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and low-profile tires. On the back, there’s a chrome polygonal exhaust pipe. This all leads up to the must-have race-car touch—a decklid spoiler.

To match up the drive to the flashy design touches, Honda shed weight and added body rigidity. The SI also gets a performance-weighted electric power-steering system, a sport-tuned suspension, and an adaptive damper system. With this technology in place, Honda was able to add a Sport mode for driving enthusiasts, enabling the car to adjust its suspension, damping, and steering and throttle response at the touch of a button.  

2017 Honda Civic Si

The car’s interior builds on the top-of-the-line Civic EX-T, including the touch-screen display that integrates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with all of their apps. There are also luxuries like heated seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and doors that lock automatically when you walk away.

Honda is promising to start selling the Si in May with a sticker price in the mid-$20,000s.

In addition to the Civic Si, Honda is also preparing a more angular, even more powerful “race ready” Type R version. The car’s most prominent feature by far is the oversized rear spoiler, which towers over the rear window. Inside, the Type R features track-inspired red and black lightweight seats for better support during hard turns and a built-in display to show boost pressure, g-forces, and track times.

With both cars, Honda is fulfilling earlier promises to regain some enthusiasts, as teased on the show circuit the past year.

In our own track testing, we’ve found the base models of the Civic have good handling, with a sense of precision and control. The latest redesign has better road manners and more civility than the one it replaced. It has good fuel economy, too—31 mpg overall for the turbo and 32 mpg for the standard 2.0-liter engine.  

Read our complete Honda Civic road test.

2017 Honda Civic Si