This is it, the new Honda Civic Si. Based on the 11th-generation Civic that made its debut earlier in April, the sports sedan will reach dealerships in the United States later this year and promises to be “the best-handling, best-equipped and most fun-to-drive Civic Si ever.” Unlike the previous Civic Si, the new one is only offered in a sedan body style, so don’t expect a coupe version like in the past.

Starting under the bonnet, the latest Civic Si continues to use a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engine as before, although it now makes 200 hp at 6,000 rpm instead of 205 hp on the previous model. Although the horsepower count is slightly lower, the peak torque count remains at 260 Nm, which now arrives 300 rpm earlier at 1,800 rpm (it goes on until 5,000 rpm).

Honda also fitted a new, single-mass flywheel that is 26% lighter than the outgoing model’s dual-mass unit for a 30% reduction in inertia. This gives the engine a snappier throttle response, and together with the broader power curves, promotes better driveability. One thing to note is the Civic Si’s engine actually has a lower redline of 6,500 rpm instead of 6,600 rpm on the normal Civic variants with the VTEC Turbo, although the latter only has 180 hp and 240 Nm.

Another returning feature is a six-speed manual transmission, although there’s now a standard rev-matching system lifted from the Civic Type R with the same response time. The transmission also comes with improved shift feel and 10% shorter throws thanks to a more rigid shift lever mounting bracket and a new leather-wrapped aluminum shift knob similar to the Civic Type R.

Power is routed to the front wheels through a helical limited-slip differential, while a dual-coil silencer exhaust system increases exhaust flow by 27% compared to the Civic Touring. An improved Active Sound Control system adds to the aural experience by pumping high-quality sound over a wider range of engine speeds into the cabin.

As for handling, the new Civic Si boasts an 8% increase in torsional rigidity and a 13% increase in bending rigidity compared to its predecessor. The springs are also 8% stiffer in the front and 54% stiffer in the rear, while rear track is increased by 12.7 mm for additional stability.

Other improvements include reinforced upper mounts for the front MacPherson struts, thicker front (27 mm hollow) and rear (18 mm solid) stabiliser bars reduce body roll. A 60% stiffer torsion bar connects the steering shaft to the steering rack pinion gear, and as with the non-Si variants, there’s still a multi-link rear suspension setup.

Like the transmission, the Civic Si also sources a few bits from the Civic Type R for its chassis like 79% stiffer front compliance bushings. Stiffer rear compliance bushings, upper arms and lower B-arms are also taken from the Civic Type R.

For stopping power, the brakes on the Civic Si are obviously larger than the standard Civic, with the front sporting 312 mm discs (+30 mm) and 282 mm rear discs (+23 mm). Those 18-inch wheels are paired with 235/40 profile all-season performance tyres, with summer tyres available as a factory option.

Those 10-spoke wheels in matte black are just one way of spotting a Civic Si, with other standout cues being a new grille with a honeycomb mesh, while the lower intake has less plastic covering it. You’ll also find a subtle lip for the front bumper, a reshaped rear bumper with two large oval exhaust tips as well as a boot lid spoiler, side mirrors and window surrounds in black. The vibrant body colour you see here is called Blazing Orange Pearl, which is exclusive to the Civic Si.

The interior is largely similar to a regular Civic, although it gets specific touches to mark it out as the sporty variant. These include sports pedals; red contrast stitching on the doors, steering wheel, centre arm rest, shift boot and shift knob; and red accents on the honeycomb dash panel.

Those front seats are also model-specific and feature integrated headrests and more prominent shoulder and lower thigh side support. They also have a lower cushion raised by 12.7 mm at the front to provide even better thigh support to reduce fatigue on long drives.

In terms of tech, there’s a seven-inch instrument display that consists of a digital tachometer on the left, a multi-info screen in the centre and a physical speedometer dial. Joining this is a nine-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and is linked to a 12-speaker Bose sound system.

Said instrument display is linked to the car’s drive mode system, which offers three modes, including Normal, Sport and a new Individual. The last one allows drivers to select their preferred engine response, steering effort and instrument panel display colour. Meanwhile, Sport mode increases throttle response, decreases steering assist, deactivates the idle stop system, allows drivers to select rev match on or off and changes the instrument accent lighting from white to red.

There’s plenty of safety kit to go along with the performance too, with 10 airbags being standard, along with the Honda Sensing suite of active and driver assistance technologies that uses a single-camera system for a longer, wider field of view.