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Old 12-13-2005, 11:18 PM   #1
Rev
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Default High reving Honda owners, explain something.

This is a serious question not meant to put the Civic Si down. Whilst reading the latest Motor Trend mag about how the Civic Si won car of the year one question just kept nagging me. How can a car that makes approximately 140 ft lbs of torque north of 6000 rpms be so damn good. Yes it has almost 200 hp, but that is somewhere around 8000 rpms.

The question - how is this such a positive thing? Like I would expect the editors to write - "power is good, but you have to wait until 8000 rpms to tap into it, and then you have to work the shifter well to keep the power coming." Instead it is only a positive thing.

Take the WRX for example. People complain about having to wait for 217 ft lbs of torque to come on at somewhere around 3000 rpm because of some turbo lag, but waiting for 6200 rpm for a measly 140 is not only acceptable, but preferable? What?

Here is a car that would be great for the track, keeping the rpms at 6000 and up, but how do you tap that potential on the street? Can you really on any kind of regular basis? You have to be living with a lot less then advertised power driving the car casually around town.

I ask because I don't have a lot of experience with high reving cars with low torque. I test drove a Prelude once, and when I floored it it made all kinds of noise but didn't really go anywhere. But that was a quick drive, nothing like living with one.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:19 PM   #2
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Nice user name
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:20 PM   #3
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:23 PM   #4
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It probably takes a civic si about as long to get to 6000rpm as it does a WRX to get to 3000rpm.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:23 PM   #5
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:23 PM   #6
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:25 PM   #7
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:26 PM   #8
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:27 PM   #9
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Layman
It probably takes a civic si about as long to get to 6000rpm as it does a WRX to get to 3000rpm.
+1

being a current honda owner, i can tell you that 8k rpms come quick. my rev limit is at 10.5k right now, and i get up to 6k pretty quick. all honda motors like to rev, but because of the small displacement compared to other cars in its class, lacks low end power. even the nonvtec motors scream at high end.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:27 PM   #11
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:28 PM   #12
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Layman
It probably takes a civic si about as long to get to 6000rpm as it does a WRX to get to 3000rpm.
I didn't know that. It is nice to know someone around here has something to contribute.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:28 PM   #14
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look at it this way, you are the writer from that magazine..

"you have to wait awhile for the power to hit you"
yeaa gee thanks for that writeup

"the power is great and awesome car"
soo mr writer where would you like to meet to test drive this car, hawaii? thats fine well get you some tickets and a room on us, for a whole week

get the point? these guys are given indirect bonuses for writing good things about the cars, write negative things and you lose those nice trips
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:29 PM   #15
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:29 PM   #16
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Eh, In my Si the power band does get nicer once you hit Vtec, but otherwise its a gradual gain of power and no sudden hit. But with a WRX you plant your foot on the floor and you go no where and then BAM it hits. Which is why all WRX owners should have an accesport, its make the powerband much more nice, and no sudden turbo hit. Also, in my opinion, the lack of torque reduces the stress on the car, which is partially why hondas are more reliable, but thats just my little theory.

-Rob
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev
I didn't know that. It is nice to know someone around here has something to contribute.
I used to own a 92 Prelude SI. That engine isn't typical of the high-reving Hondas.

You should take an SI out for a spin. It won't snap your neck with torque, but it'll be a fun drive nonetheless.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:31 PM   #18
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Layman
I used to own a 92 Prelude SI. That engine isn't typical of the high-reving Hondas.

You should take an SI out for a spin. It won't snap your neck with torque, but it'll be a fun drive nonetheless.
Yeah my reason for stating this thread is not because I dislike the Si, just the opposite. I want to learn more about it.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:33 PM   #20
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I like the part where I have keener and svek on ignore.

Anyways, I've had a 98 prelude and a 2004 TSX.....both make the power in the upper ranges, but the flywheel is so light and the cars rev so fast that the torque curve isn't such a big issue. The TSX is in fact easier to drive in traffic than the WRX is, high torque range be damed. I'd suspect the Civic is the same. But, to be fair, when the power hits in the WRX it hits MUCH harder.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:39 PM   #21
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The TSX is another car that would seem to be an underdog in its segment because of the numbers, yet it comes out on top anyway.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:40 PM   #22
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I can talk with great experience here. I have a WRX and an ITR. The ITR on the tracks stock for stock will absolutely slaughter the WRX. It's not all about horse power. Honda engines have high compression, therefore they respond to throttle inputs immediately. The other factor is that they are much lighter than Subies so they don't need as much torque. The other factor in the lighter weight of the cars is that with the same tires you have more grip. Then there is Honda's superior suspension geometry (on SOME models) and the lsd which really helps put the power down. Honda engineers their performance oriented cars are engineered to be balanced with HP and handling. Oh...and the other thing is that Honda under-rated the Si's power. Over at vtec.net (Temple of vtec) they dynoed one and got approximately 195 hhp (hub horse power).

That said the WRX is far better on hilly drives with it's stronger torque. A friend and I did a touge run one time and he could not touch me when I was in the WRX going up the hills.

Dave
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:40 PM   #23
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Also, honda geared the new honda civic si's transmission so that you can always be in I-Vtec after first gear. Also, honda motors make equivalent torque to other motors their size, they just make that much more horsepower for being naturally aspirated. Look at other 2.0 Liter motors powerbands.... Should be around 140hp, 140 tq. Honda is just 200hp, 140tq.
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:42 PM   #24
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev
The TSX is another car that would seem to be an underdog in its segment because of the numbers, yet it comes out on top anyway.
It handles better than a stock WRX, that's for sure (I fixed that.) It is slower, but you don't really notice it that much except for firewalling it getting on the freeway or 30-50,50-70 passes. And it sounds like an Alfa thanks to the exhaust tuning, which is really nice. It's a lot of fun to take on a twisty road...the power is "just about right."
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