You see all kinds of stuff at SEMA, but brand new model debuts aren’t typically among them. This year, however, Honda made waves with the first public showing of the 2014 Civic coupe and Civic Si, updated with new styling and performance boost. The Civic has had a rough couple of years, but will this refresh turn things around?
Honda also brought out their fair share of outrageous custom vehicles. Chief among them, the Bisimoto 2014 Honda Odyssey Project – a minivan pumped up to 1,029 horsepower with help from new injectors, exhaust and a massive Turbonetics twin-turbo. If that isn’t a SEMA kind of car, I don’t know what is.
Yes, the slammed Odyssey minivan on chrome Fifteen52 wheels and Toyo T1 Sport tires drew tons of deserved attention. But the new 2014 Honda Civic and Civic Si were still the stars of the show. This is the third refresh for the Civic in just three years, after the 2012 version was not well received by critics and Honda rushed to restyle the car for the 2013 model year.
Now, Honda is aiming to give the Civic a shot of adrenaline yet again, with a new front fascia design punctuated by a wavy, blacked-out grille connecting the headlights and aggressive cheeks surrounding the fog lamps. The Civic Si also gets a black chin splitter, and new exhaust that slightly improves figures to 205 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft of torque. Does it work?
The new 2014 Civic has a nice shape, especially from the side profile that could pass for a softer version of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Yet the busy front looks overwrought, like the car is trying in vain to intimidate. The rear taillights have been cleaned up nicely, if a little plain. Honda is trying new things with the Civic, but it isn’t clear whether that’s a move in the right direction. But hey, they’ve already sold over 280,000 Civics in 2013 so people seem to like what they’re doing.
Looking to push the new design in a racing direction, the HPD Civic Street Performance Concept took center stage with a black body and custom white graphics. HPD outfitted the car with a K24Z7 racing engine, anti-roll bar and Eibach Sport Springs in the front with HPD performance springs in the rear. Honda has laid claim to the affordable aftermarket for enthusiasts for a long time, and the Civic Street Performance served as a reminded.
Honda also hosted custom projects from their Acura brand, with the RLX and ILX sedans sporting new looks and increased muscle. Already a pleasing luxury sedan, the RLX transformed into the 2014 RLX VIP Sedan at the hands of Evasive Motorsports, which outfitted custom exhaust and quad titanium tips. They also added extensive suspension components like 21-inch wheels, coilovers and a big brake kit with custom carbon fiber bodywork.
MAD Industrstries took control of the Acura Street Performance ILX for drivers looking for style and canyon-carving fun. CT Engineering supercharger pushed the 2.4L four-cylinder engine to 250 horsepower, and 19-inch matte black rims sit on Nitto NT05 Max tires. Tein Super Street coilovers lowered the car and added better cornering, with Acura aftermarket parts adorn the exterior.