Honda Civics have been modified since their inception as they’re light, have great engines, and are super reliable to boot. This year at Sema, there are plenty of Honda Civics, so check ’em out

If you know anything about the tuning scene, you’ll know that the Honda Civic is a staple. Every generation of Honda Civic has been modified, and we get the feeling that as long as this diverse and tunable platform is around, people won’t stop. Sema 2016, running November 1–4 in Las Vegas, has a wide range of Civics on display so we thought we’d take a closer look. Don’t go thinking these will be Tokyo Auto Salon–style builds, as they’re more just kits and wheels … 

First off, Honda brought along their own tuned example of the latest-model Civic, so it’s only fair that that gets a look-in first. A race-prepped example of the Civic coupe, Honda decided to build something eligible for racing in America and around the globe. With a massive rear wing, an FIA-certified roll cage, and various other race-ready upgrades, it’ll be interesting to see how quick it is. It certainly isn’t touring-car looking in this guise, so it doesn’t seem too hardcore …

The Civic will have its first race at the 2016 25 Hours of Thunderhill in December, held in Willows California. The cool part though, is that racing Civic bodies, drivetrains, and more race-specific Honda components will be available to teams through Honda Performance Development (HPD). In a decade or so, these parts will no doubt trickle down to the grass-roots level, which will be great to see. 

This bright-yellow example has been built by a well-known Sema-show builder, TJIN Edition. A unique name, but they do produce some high-level builds. With the goal being to create the ultimate street cruiser, the team installed a front lip, BC BR Series coilovers (damper and height adjustable), and Rotiform OZT rims.

Inside, the Civic features Katzin leather and suede seats to match the colour scheme of the exterior. The brakes have been upgraded to Baer units. 

Meguiar’s opted for the 2016 Civic sedan as their base, and installed a set of coilovers and some classic-style SSR mesh rims. As the build was to be a ’90s tuner theme, Meguiar’s removed the stock bonnet and replaced it with a carbon-fibre item. 

With a sneeky GReddy front-mounted intercooler up front, we’re going to assume it sports some sort of boost-up kit by the well-known Japanese tuning brand. In the cabin, there is thankfully no bright-yellow interior, but rather a much classier black-and-red alcantara set-up. True to the ’90s tuning scene, a great big sound system was installed to play your favourite ’90s tunes. 

Another well-known American tuning house, MAD Industries, opted for the more subtle look, with an Eibach Pro lowering spring kit instead of a full coilover system, a black suede and leather interior with blue stitching, and black Rotiform QLB rims wrapped in Toyo T1R street rubber.  

It’s great that tuning companies still have time for the Civic, and it’s great that Honda has started to add turbochargers to their already impressive small-capacity engines. We feel as though big things will come from this particular model in coming years, once they’re more affordable for the young folks. 

Which one is your favourite and why? Let us know in the comments section. 

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.