Honda Civic Si Coupe to become IZOD IndyCar series safety car

The 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe has been tapped as the official safety car of the IZOD IndyCar racing series, receiving several performance enhancements in the process.

The 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe has been crowned as the official safety car of the IZOD IndyCar racing series. The specially-outfitted 2012 Civic Si Coupe will pace its first IndyCar race this weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto race, and will be driven by three-time Indy 500 champion Johnny Rutherford.

The Honda Civic Si Coupe safety car has been upgraded by Honda Performance Development (HPD) in California, with heavy brake modifications including four-piston calipers, competition rotors and pads, and stainless brake lines. The aerodynamic kit is a genuine Honda accessory kit, and the wheel upgrade consists of Firestone summer tires on Enkei alloy wheels. The 2012 Civic Si gets a 2.4L 4cyl with a 3hp bump from the outgoing model's 2.0L 4cyl, now making 201hp. The pace car will also sport IZOD IndyCar graphics as well as a stripe consisting of flags of the various countries represented by the IndyCar series drivers.

"The high-performance new Honda Civic Si is the perfect match for the IndyCar safety fleet," said vice president of American Honda auto sales John Mendel. "It is ready to lead the IZOD IndyCarSeries field at the Honda Indy Toronto and beyond."

There's no word if Honda will offer a limited-edition street version of the Civic Si safety car to consumers, as has been done in the past with various Indy 500 pace cars.

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