Honda is giving the 2020 Civic Si some upgrades to its exterior styling and a slight boost to its acceleration giddyup. The coupe and sedan versions go on sale Sept. 6.
First, the stying changes. The lower-bumper fog lights, now LEDs, are now encased in gloss-black surrounds and feature a body-color crossbar. The "wing" grille crossbar is also updated, appearing slightly narrower than before, while both the Si Coupe and Sedan get upgraded to LED headlights with wider and longer light beams.
In back, the Si sedan gets fresh body-color inserts at the sides of the bumper. Both the Sedan and Coupe models now ride on matte black 18-inch allow wheels with all-season tires. There are also updated sport seats with red accents on the seat bottoms and backs, plus new red trim highlighting the instrument panel. They add to the interior upgrades made for 2019 that included an updated display audio system with physical buttons and a volume knob and larger cupholders.
The 2020 Civic Si sticks with the same 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine as the 2018 version, which makes 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, and the same six-speed manual transmission. But new for 2020 is a final-drive ratio that is shorter by 6%, helping to give a nudge to acceleration.
All trim levels of the Si Sedan and Coupe get standard Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist technologies that include new automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation braking. They also get Active Sound Control, which uses the audio system to amplify the engine sound during aggressive driving.
Both the Civic Si Coupe and the Si Sedan will start at $25,930 including destination, which is a $700 increase over 2019.
A few days ago, Acura showed its Type S Concept in an album of dramatically lit press photos. It is our extreme pleasure to report that the Acura Type S Concept on display at The Quail, with no shadows nor Photoshop to hide in, is even more pleasing to the eye than it was in those photographs. This is the sedan the brand said "sets the stage for re-introducing Type S performance variants to the Acura line-up after a decade hiatus, and will heavily influence the character of the upcoming, second-generation TLX Type S." Our hope is that the phrase "heavily influence the character of" is code for the word "be," and Acura's simply not ready to admit it yet. From the new rectangular "Jewel Eye" LED headlights to the front fascia that could double as an Orc weapon, the flanks with a pentathlete's balance of muscle and leanness, those Halo beam rifle taillights, and the mortar-launcher quad-pipes, this concept is the bee's knees. Acura calls the design language "Chicane," and this expression of it is everything a fan wants to see from the brand. The Double Apex Blue Pearl paint, forged carbon accents, and functional vents only make the sculpture better. We're promised two new Type S offerings in the next two years, an RDX Type S presumed to follow the TLX version. They can't come soon enough. We encourage you to check out the gallery and enjoy every angle of the preview for Acura's coming attractions.
Toyota's Euro and Asian market Yaris is an interesting kettle of fish; affordable, cheerful but not so much fun behind the wheel. Supermini's like Ford's Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo have it licked for driving pleasure and sheer appeal. Luckily for Toyota fans this could all about to change with the Japanese carmaker putting the finishing touches on its all-new, TNGA-based replacement for European and Asia Pacific regions. About time you say?
According to Volkswagen, the new 2019 Arteon is the spiritual, not literal successor to the swoopy CC sedan. Another clue: the company will position the Arteon as the brand's flagship vehicle, rather than one of their strong-selling SUVs or crossovers. One VW rep said sales would be closer to the outgoing, niche Beetle than the volume-selling Tiguan or Atlas. Is the Wolfsburg brand crazy to emphasize the dwindling sedan market as most carmakers flee it? Listen up as we unravel the mystery of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon.
When you look at the Arteon's underpinnings, VW's desire to separate it from the CC (or at least keep it at arm's length) starts to make more sense. While the CC was essentially a Passat with a lower roofline and snugger cabin, the Arteon rides on the more advanced MQB platform. The chassis gets five more inches of wheelbase, 2.9 more inches of rear legroom, and nearly double the cargo capacity. Here's another clue to the sleek four-door's place in the VW universe: Arteon's name derives from the Latin artem, which means "art." The wordplay suggests more of a design showcase than an appliance, a conveyance intended to make a statement and stand out. And stand out it does: from the Arteon's grille strakes that cleverly integrate into the LED headlamps to its uninterrupted character lines and elegantly tapered haunches, the attractive fastback manages to defy its relatively reasonable starting price of $36,840. This is not your father's Passat; The Arteon is a serious looker.