Chicago Auto ShowCHICAGO – For those buyers who want practicality as well as performance, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. unveils here at the Chicago auto show a 4-door concept version of its respected Civic Si.

The 2-door model, which debuted in concept form at last year’s Chicago show, went on sale in the U.S. last year as an ’06 model, along with the Civic sedan, coupe and hybrid variants.

The 4-door Civic Si goes on sale this fall, and Honda is making no projections with regard to sales volumes.

But John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., says 2-door Civic Si deliveries have been robust since its December sales debut. “We’re sold out through May,” Mendel tells journalists at the 4-door’s unveiling here.

The new sedan represents the first time Honda’s Si performance badge was applied to a Civic 4-door.

Honda Civic Si sedan concept.

Like the coupe, the Si sedan will sport a normally aspirated 2L DOHC 4-cyl. i-VTEC engine with an 8,000 rpm redline, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The engine is rated at 197 hp at 7,800 rpm and 139 lb.-ft. (188 Nm) of torque at 6,200 rpm.

A helical-type, limited slip differential transmits power to the wheels and improves traction and cornering, Honda says.

The Si sedan is designed to woo young buyers – primarily males – who invest handsome sums in ground effects, new wheels and various performance-enhancing add-ons for their compact cars.

In its concept form, the low-riding Civic Si sedan features custom 18-in. cast aluminum alloy wheels; high-performance tires; 4-wheel disc brakes with large cross-drilled brake rotors; and 4-piston bright red Brembo calipers.

“The Civic Si sedan concept demonstrates how the high-performance attributes of the Civic Si coupe can be directly applied to the functionality of a sedan,” Mendel says.

The Civic Si first appeared in 1986, with subsequent versions appearing in 1989, 1992, 1999 and 2002.

tmurphy@wardsauto.com