2020 civis si engine acura integra engine

Honda engines; cover it up or leave it be?

While taking pictures of the 2020 Honda Civic Si, I was briefly stunned when I opened the hood. There was the engine, as it should have been. But it did not look like any modern engine. And it certainly did not look like any old Honda either, such as the B18C1 in my Acura Integra GS-R.

Open the hood of any new car and you won’t see an engine. You will see a fancy cover that goes over the engine, that usually looks like… an engine. Or it looks like how people who don’t know much about cars think an engine should look like. And then we, the enthusiasts and the automotive media complain that no one can see the engines in new cars anymore.

In the case of the 2020 Civic Si, Honda did not cover up the engine. It left the engine exposed. And looking at it, I cringed. There, in its nude and exposed state was the new-ish 1.5-liter engine. And around it, seemingly random, were hoses, pipes, ducts, cables, lines, tanks, and various other bits. The engine itself was covered with an unfinished-looking black plastic valve cover. Sticking out of the valve cover were four generic coil-packs. While industrial, this certainly is not aesthetic.

By comparison, the B18C engine has an aluminum valve cover. It painted in black crinkle paint or red on the iconic Type R model. The spark plug cables are covered in a middle by a neat silver piece that finishes everything off. Like in any other car, there are hoses, pipes, ducts, cables, lines, tanks, and various other bits. But in this case, they’re just not as pronounced; they’re not the first thing you see.

So I ask, what should have Honda done here? Cover it up? Leave it as they did? Put in an ounce of effort and make it prettier? I don’t know the right answer anymore.

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10 responses to “Honda engines; cover it up or leave it be?”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    Are you saying the aesthetics of the engine, or cover, matter? Not sure what to make of that thought; I expect enthusiasts to appreciate the open access. I expect everyone else to look after the washer fluid container lid.

    Personally, I consider everything that complicates access, work routines etc. for no other reason but looks, fluff. No covers vote!

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      I’m thinking well over 90% of owners will never open the hood, and that is what the lack of covers reflects

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      I realize covers are sometimes used to quiet down the noise from the engine, but other than that functional relevance, they’re pretty stupid. Too bad modern engines are so unattractive. Many classic cars have engines with excellent accessibility and beauty.

    3. Vairship Avatar

      The REAL problem here is that Honda fitted the wrong B18 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c0/VolvoB18engine.jpg/1024px-VolvoB18engine.jpg By Liftarn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

  2. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    my Fiesta ST had an engine cover that you could pull off with no tools. it was an ugly motor under that, with its plastic manifold and valve covers. i didn’t resent it.

  3. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    I find covers more defensible when they serve a function, rather than simply hiding messy wiring. Good examples would be the Landrover TD5 diesel which had a sound deadening cover to reduce cabin noise and circa 2000 BMW car engines which got covers to keep squirrels from eating the wiring harness. Another good example was the old CC Products replacement for the BMW K bike’s plug wire cover which was made out of aluminum instead of plastic and incorporated an air scoop to improve engine cooling.

  4. neight428 Avatar

    If it’s there to keep noise down or whatever, I get it, but when it’s a cheap piece of plastic that they slap on there to hide a cheap looking plastic intake manifold, why bother?

  5. GraceNora Avatar

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  6. Monika Avatar

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