The Civic Si only comes as a sedan in the United States where it’s sold alongside the Type R hatchback. But what if Honda were to combine the two by rolling out a sporty compact with the former’s engine and the latter’s body style? The Civic RS introduced at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon appears to be that car, complete with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Although it’s officially just a prototype, Honda intends to put the car into production later this year for the Japanese market. The blacked-out sporty hatch has contrasting “RS” badges and dual exhaust tips. Perhaps we can think of it as a cut-price Acura Integra A-Spec? It’s worth noting that a Civic RS already exists in other markets where it’s a high-end trim level but the new JDM variant seems to be a sportier model, likely slotting underneath the Type R.
While Honda doesn’t say which engine powers the Civic RS, it does mention the hatch has “further refinements to the joy of driving.” It’s unclear whether the statement refers to what’s under the hood and/or the chassis, brakes, and whatnot. The 1.5-liter turbocharged mill is likely at the heart of this car, hopefully with an Si-matching output of 200 hp.
Worst-case scenario, the Civic RS is Japan’s 2024 Civic Sport Hatchback with 158 hp, although the car’s appearance suggests it has more pizzazz. Perhaps it’s the JDM equivalent of the US-spec Civic Sport Touring with 180 hp on tap, which we reckon still wouldn’t be enough to earn that RS badge. Either way, the inclusion of a six-speed manual will appeal to those not willing to settle for the CVT.
Enthusiasts from Japan are certainly going to like the addition of a clutch pedal since the regular Civic is only offered there with the continuously variable transmission.