2023 Civic Si Track Day Review
This is my '23 Civic Si. It looks like its painted in polished primer gray, but the picture doesn't do the Sonic Gray Pearl color justice. It has a very nice blue sparkly cast in the sun!
I've gone crazy(!) and modified it by upgrading the brake fluid and throwing a set of Konig Hexaform flow formed wheels with customized ME Racing center caps and a set of 200 treadwear Falken Azenis RT615K+ tires on it in the same size as stock (235/40R18). These are a great value in high performance tires and driving on the track confirmed the size is all I need to have fun.
I've driven the Si at both New Jersey Motorsports Park tracks, Thunderbolt and Lightning when leading the High Performance Driver Education novice groups (DE1) for my club, NASA Northeast. Thunderbolt was first. Thunderbolt is a blend of high speed and technical sections. DE1 doesn't require an instructor to have car with a ton of power. Lightning is simpler - challenging because of its blind corners, but less technical. If I want to catch up to a student it'll happen by carrying speed through the corners. For that kind of driving the Si felt great to me. The chassis is plenty stiff and the suspension is compliant enough that using curbing did not upset the car. After a couple of sessions I found that I could time the turbo to when exiting corners pretty easily so power was never an issue. Since it doesn't make a ton of power and won't take a driver by surprise I ran in Sport mode with traction control and the driver aids like lane keeper switched off.
The one upgrade that I did not do was change to more aggressive brake pads. I should have. I glazed the stock ones after a few hot laps. They came back after backing off and weren't a problem, but when the stock ones are done I'll be trying a set of EBC Red or Yellowstuff pads which are reasonably priced and can be used on street as well as the track.
Being a Civic, its super practical and gets great gas mileage. I averaged about 43mpg on the trip south along the NJ Turnpike and there is gobs of room to carry a tent, tools, provisions and anything else you might need for a track day, or to go camping. Overall I would say that its a great car for someone to learn in. The road to higher performance is paved with bills. If the car had more power it would need some suspension work in addition to maybe a more aggressive brake upgrade. Would that also mean better cooling? Maybe. By the time you're done with those mods it probably would make more sense to have a Type R with 300hp and all the bits built into it by Honda. That said, I bet that when this 11th gen Civic has some wear and tear it will make a great platform to modify just like the previous Civics out there.