First Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP honda first drives
2012 Honda Civic Si HFP. Click image to enlarge

Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si sedan
Test Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si coupe

Manufacturer’s web site
Honda Canada

Review and photos by James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2012 Honda Civic Si

The Honda Civic has been the bestselling car in Canada for 14 years running—quite an accomplishment in any arena, and Honda is going for year 15 with a current lead of over 6,000 units from their closest competitor halfway through the calendar year. So why would Honda bother to put on an event to promote the Civic, a vehicle that sells itself?

It is pretty simple—the competition is heating up and Honda is stepping up to bring customers a more focused special edition to satisfy the demands and nip the competition in the bud before it gets too comfortable. The sport compact market is shrinking in an age of video games and social media dominating the attention span of the younger generation—a little flair can never hurt.

First Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP honda first drives
2012 Honda Civic Si HFP. Click image to enlarge

Introducing the Honda Civic Si HFP edition—short for Honda Factory Performance. The HFP offers a “tuner” like vehicle with the exclusivity of a small run of only 400 models available for Canada, and if you want one you should stop reading now and head to your Honda dealer as Honda has already sold almost 300 of the available examples as of this writing.

Targeted squarely at such vehicles as the Volkswagen GTI and Mazdapeed3, the Civic Si HFP offers some excellent value in a sporty coupe package. Of course, with some new competitors hitting the showroom floors, like the highly anticipated Ford Focus ST and Hyundai Veloster Turbo, the Si has its work cut out for it. Add to that the resurgence of inexpensive rear-wheel drive sports coupes such as the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Scion FR-S, and Subaru BRZ, and one can argue that affordable and fun to drive has finally made a comeback.

First Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP honda first drives
First Drive: 2012 Honda Civic Si HFP honda first drives
2012 Honda Civic Si HFP. Click image to enlarge

The changes incorporated into the HFP are subtle but purposeful: custom HFP 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport performance rubber is the first thing I noticed, followed by a very tasteful body kit that adds front, side, and rear underbody spoilers—which really should just be added to all Sis as these additions make the HFP look downright sexy.

Honda lives in a black and white world—the only two colours available for the HFP—but inside adds a little colour with HFP-embroidered floor mats in bright red.
On the performance side, HFP branded shocks and springs lower the ride height by 10 millimeters and with an increased spring rate to reduce body roll. As a result of the lowered centre of gravity, the suspension geometry is slightly tweaked and the alignment specs allow for more camber and therefore better turn-in response.
So how much should you expect to pay for the exclusivity and performance tweaks? Honda is offering this package for $2,700—not a bad premium to pay if I’m honest; Honda claims the package would normally retail for approximately $5,400 if one were to option something similar, piecemeal. This brings the HFP to an MSRP of $28,690 before freight, PDI and taxes.




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. James holds a national FIA race license and actively races and stewards at race events.