Spearheading the new lineup of aggressively wedge-shaped Civics is the new Si, once again a proper notchback coupe that combines sleek lines with the performance Honda fans expect from the “Si” brand. The motive force is provided by a 197-horsepower 2-liter engine, related to the unit in the Acura RSX/Honda Integra, but with the edition of an extra balance shaft and electronic throttle for extra precision and smoothness. The engine is also equipped with Honda’s latest variable valve timing system—called i-VTEC—and Honda’s expertise in these systems as one of the very first to introduce it means that the motor is docile at low speeds but manic at higher revs. That’s exactly what an Si should be, and so the new Civic doesn’t disappoint. Handling is also superb, thanks in part to a limited-slip differential that reigns in torque-steer and understeer, and also thanks to firm suspension that controls unwanted body movement and keeps the Si planted. The Si should strike you as one of the most balanced front-wheel drive Hondas ever produced, and worthy of its storied badge.