1998 Honda Civic SiR vs Geely Coolray drag race: You won't see this everyday

Updated Feb 18, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

How would a 90s automotive legend fare against a modern car?

The Honda Civic SiR was, and still is, one of the most sought-after sedans that came out from the 1990s. It’s sporty but practical, and with a little bit of cajoling (and/or mods) from the driver, it is a very potent track weapon.

But what if the Civic SiR raced against a modern car? Well to find the answer to that, celebrity car enthusiast Ramon Bautista organized a drag race in-between the aforementioned 1990s legend against the modern Geely Coolray. Yes, this is certainly an unusual match-up. 

A picture of the Geely Coolray and Honda Civic SiR on the starting line

The Geely Coolray and Honda Civic SiR lining up for battle [Photo: Ramon Bautista]

Mind you, this race was mostly for fun, but then again, it provided us a glimpse as to how a modern car like the Coolray performs if driven hard. And of course, we also got to see how a well-maintained example of a Civic SiR flexes its muscles.  

Let’s watch the video. Skip to the 28:00-minute mark if you just want to see the race.  

1998 Honda Civic SiR vs Geely Coolray Drag Race Battle

To sum it up, the quarter-mile duel between the Honda Civic SiR and the Geely Coolray was a four-round bout. Two of the first were off-the-line starts, and the latter two were rolling starts.

On the first-ever race, the Civic SiR jumped the gun a little bit and thus won. Or maybe, the Coolray’s driver just hesitated. It was the first round after all.

On the second round, the Honda managed to beat the Chinese-made crossover by using an age-old drag race tactic, which is revving high to keep its engine in the optimal power-band, then dumping the clutch.

We can’t really tell for sure if the driver of the Civic SiR really did that, but we’re guessing that he did. As for the Coolray, it couldn’t do that since it has an automatic tranny.

>>> Related: Honda Civic SiR: Why is it still popular?

A picture from the inside of the Coolray as it races the Civic SiR

The Geely Coolray managing to pass the Civic SiR on the rolling start drag race

>>> Related: Even in Malaysia, Geely Coolray’s counterpart is selling like hotcakes

On both the rolling start rounds, the Geely Coolray managed to win as it was given the opportunity to stretch its legs a bit earlier. Of note, it can make 177 horsepower and 255 Nm of torque at the maximum.

That’s more than the Civic SiR’s 160 horsepower and 150 Nm of torque. And yes, having more torque is particularly advantageous in a drag race.

As Ramon Bautista said in the video, what’s important at the end of the day was that both the drivers had fun. If you want to read more fun, informative, as well as helpful car-focused articles, keep it here on Philkotse.com

Know more about Honda Civic 2024

Honda Civic

The 2023 Honda Civic is a compact, five-door sedan. It is now in its eleventh-generation. For the Philippine market, the Civic has a price range of Php 1,583,000 to Php 1,775,000. It has three variants consisting of the V Turbo, and the RS Turbo as the top-spec trim. All of them are equipped with the Honda Sensing driver assist safety suite, and all use a 1.5-liter turbocharged VTEC inline-4 gasoline engine capable of making up to 175 horsepower and 240 Nm of torque. All trims use a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Size-wise, the 2023 Civic is 4,678mm long, 1,802mm wide, and 1,415mm in height. It wheelbase length measures 2,735mm long, and it has a ground clearance of 134mm. Competitors of the Honda Civic for the Philippine market includes the likes of the Toyota Corolla Altis, Mazda3, Kia Forte, Nissan Sylphy, among others.


₱ 1,583,000 - ₱ 1,775,000

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel was born and raised in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology. He previously worked as a freelance writer for various websites, as a member of the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management's training staff, and as a medical sales representative.

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