Honda Rolls Out 2014 Civic Coupe, Adds More Muscle to CR-Z Hybrid

Japanese maker launches new performance parts operation.

by on Nov.05, 2013

Honda makes "significant" changes to the Civic Coupe, including the more powerful 2014 Si model.

While most automakers come to SEMA with an assortment of tricked out concept cars, it was nothing but the real deal at the Honda stand where the Japanese maker pulled the wraps off its updated 2014 Civic Coupe.

The introduction marks the third major update of the Honda Civic line in just three years and underscores both the significance of the Civic model and the increasing competition in the compact segment.

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Honda had some other big news for 2014, however. The maker also announced that it will be offering a performance-enhanced version of the CR-Z hybrid, and that its racing arm, Honda Performance Development, or HPD, will now handle an expanded focus on aftermarket street parts and accessories.

The Coupe still accounts for about 20% of total Honda Civic sales in the U.S. market.

Since access to the annual SEMA Show is limited to industry insiders, the public will have to wait until the upcoming LA Auto Show to get a close look at the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe. The decision to bring the 2-door to Las Vegas reflects the fact that, “it was Civic that helped spark the import tuner craze,” and SEMA is ground zero for automotive performance fans, explained John Mendel, the top U.S. executive at Honda.

(Click Here for a look at the performance concepts Chevy is showing off at SEMA.)

All versions of the 2014 Civic Coupe will receive revised sheet metal, including a new front fascia and grille, changes to the front fenders and to the rear lamps.

“The changes are significant,” declared Mendel, during the new 2-door’s unveiling.

The top-line version of the 2-door, the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe Si, will be the most powerful Civic the Japanese maker has ever sold in the U.S., at 205 horsepower getting a 4 hp bump over the outgoing model. Torque, meanwhile, comes in at 174 pound-feet, a jump of 4.

(Mazda previews its SEMA Show concepts. Click Here for a closer look.)

Among other revisions, the Si will adopt a larger, honeycomb grille, while getting a new decklid spoiler, a front spoiler and a rear air diffuser.  Both the 2014 Si Coupe and Sedan will get larger new 18-inch wheels and tires.

This Civic HPD Coupe concept suggests some of what could follow from HPD, Honda's new street performance division.

The introduction of the revised Civic Coupe completes the changes that began with the 2013 Civic sedan – and follow the unexpectedly harsh response that Honda got when it launched the ninth-generation Civic in 2011.

That new model missed the mark, admitted Mendel during an interview with, suggesting it was like “An A+ student coming home with an A-.” Critics might have questioned even that grade, but whatever the case, Honda rushed an “emergency refresh” of the sedan to market in little more than a year and is now following up with the Civic Coupe.

The Civic Si Coupe isn’t the only Honda bulking up this coming model year.  Honda plans to offer a forced induction supercharger package that will boost the output of the anemic base model by a full 70 hp, Mendel revealed. It’s part of an effort to make the sporty-looking hybrid actually live up to its visual promise.

“We’re exploring the potential” of the CR-Z, the executive said, acknowledging that, “frankly, customers and dealers alike wanted it to be a little quicker.”

(Hyundai muscles into SEMA. Click Here for more.)

A concept version of the Honda CR-Z on display at the Las Vegas Conventional Center features a variety of upgraded accessories, including upgraded brakes, suspension and exhaust components and a new rear spoiler.

Honda’s emphasis on performance at this year’s SEMA Show is, perhaps as significant as the launch of the new Civic Coupe.  Ironically, while the tuner crowd was quick to embrace the compact Honda, “We were slow to embrace” the potential of that market, says Mendel.  No longer.  “We’ve come to grips with the fact that we’re part of the performance movement.”

Going forward, HPD will be responsible for developing and marketing street performance parts and accessories, Mendel revealed.  Calling the move, “very significant,” Mendel suggested this is “now a real business” for Honda, and the supercharger package is likely just the first of many performance accessories to come for a wide range of the maker’s products.

Honda expects to reveal even more about the 2014 Civic Coupe and other products at the upcoming LA Auto Show.

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