Photo Attributions: American Honda 2017
Despite all the turbo power detractors and naysayers traveling through automotive cyberspace, every major and minor auto manufacturer on the road today is turbocharging. Honda, the world’s largest I.C.E (internal combustion engine) opts for a hotter burning, exhaust gas recycling, low to no internal friction, low displacement, high torque output turbocharged 1.5 Liter 4 cylinder gasoline engine for the venerable Civic Si — the affordable performance side of the mark.
Not your dad’s toss it in the trash at 60K miles turbo of the 1980s
Honda goes to great lengths to produce (arguably) the most reliable gasoline engines on the planet. We all know that crazy guy or gal down the street rolling with 300,000 miles or more on their vintage Honda Civic. True enough, those older Civics are not turbocharged, and by the E.P.A. standards of the day, were relatively clean-burning i-VTEC power plants. So, why has Honda, and most if not all domestic and import manufacturers marketing in the U.S. shelving V6 power for smaller high rpm turbocharged 4 cylinders?
2 reasons: Higher torque, at lower engine rpm resulting in greater fuel efficiency, and, lower greenhouse gas emissions
When we look to the on tap torque and sprint speed horsepower afforded through turbocharging, manufacturers option a lighter aluminum block and head constructed engine of small cylinder displacement, often producing torque surpassing old-school V6 and 8 cylinder performance engines of yesterday. In the case of 2017 Civic, while top-end horsepower is not measurably increased over the 9th generation offering, the new engine does generate exceptional torque at a much lower engine rpm — the power on tap is instant-on, and passing is a breeze. The same holds true for horsepower. Read my latest take on the reinvented 10th generation 2017 Civic Si
Thanks to a single scroll turbocharger, Civic Si’s 1.5 Liter VTEC 4 cylinder engine produces maximum torque at 1800 through 4900 rpm. The result is seamless torque that stays on, hill climbing’s a breeze, with little to no shifting required. And thanks to a newfound Economy Mode button, 2017 Civic Si is the most powerful fuel efficient offering in Honda history.
As to turbo-engine longevity
As a turbocharged vehicle owner, I can tell you that my 99′ Volvo S80 T6 twin turbo has 138,000 miles showing on the odometer. I haven’t babied it! As to the 2017 Civic Si, only time will tell. But, by all consumer accounts, the turbocharged engine installed in the 10th generation Civic lineup is mechanically bulletproof.