Honda CR-X del Sol

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Honda Del Sol
1997 Honda Civic CR-X ESi 1.6 Front.jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Also called
  • Honda Civic del Sol
  • Honda Civic CRX
Production 1992–1998
Chassis EG1, EG2, EH1, EH6, EJ4
Assembly Suzuka Plant, Suzuka, Mie, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Sport compact
Body style 2-door roadster
Layout FF layout
Related Honda Civic
Acura/Honda Integra
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,370 mm (93.3 in)
Length 4,005 mm (157.6 in)
Width 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height 1,255 mm (49.4 in)
Curb weight 2,295–2,535 lb (1,041–1,150 kg)
Predecessor Honda CR-X
Successor Honda CR-Z
Honda S2000

The Honda Civic del Sol is a 2-seater front-engined, front wheel drive, targa top car manufactured by Honda in the 1990s. Based on the Honda Civic platform, the del Sol was the successor to the popular Honda CR-X. It debuted in 1992 in Japan, the United Kingdom, and United States.

The Spanish name del Sol translates to of the sun, and refers to the car's opening roof. It was not a full convertible, featuring a removable hardtop that stowed in the trunk and a retractable rear window for a convertible 'feel' (known as targa top). Trunk space was reduced from 9.5 cubic feet to 6.5 cubic feet while the targa top was stowed.

In the US market the CR-X naming convention was dropped from the del Sol line as it was distinctly different from earlier models, which were hatchbacks and not targas. Starting with the 1995 models, Honda dropped the 'Civic' name from the del Sol in the Americas. In Europe, the car debuted as the Civic CRX. The del Sol tag was added in 1994 and at the same time the Civic name was dropped, naming it the CRX del Sol for the rest of the run.

Production and sales ended with the 1997 model in the U.S. and 1998 elsewhere, with a total of slightly fewer than 75,000 vehicles sold in America.


The CRX del Sol, known simply as the 'del Sol' in the USA (Civic del Sol in the US until 1995 and Civic CRX in Europe until 1994) was first introduced to Japan, Europe, and North America in 1992 in two trim levels, The S and the SI (The European market came with the Japanese-market SiR (called the VTi in Europe) and the US-market Si (called the ESi in Europe). The base "S" model (called the VXi in Japan from 1992–1994, but after 1995 called the VGi) came with a 1.5 liter SOHC 16-valve four cylinder engine and rode on 13" steel wheels, available only at Honda Verno Japanese dealerships. The Japanese VXi/VGi versions came with a Honda D15B-VTEC engine. This was an entry level VTEC engine that produced 128 bhp (95 kW; 130 PS), matching the power of the 1.6 Si version. Despite the body resemblance to a mid-engined car design, the del Sol shared a front-engined design with the contemporary Honda Civic.


The uplevel "Si" (called the "ESi" in Europe) model came standard with a 1.6 liter SOHC 16-valve four cylinder engine with Honda's VTEC. The Si also came with 14" alloy wheels which were offered in an optional body color-matched paint scheme on Samba Green models, power side mirrors, cruise control, rear disc brakes, wider tires, and additional front & rear anti-sway bars for improved handling.

Depending on model and market, the options included a rear spoiler, custom floor mats, an automatic transmission (only in S and SI models), power steering, heated mirrors, front fog lights (1993–1995 models only), traction control system (JDM only), limited slip differential (JDM only), and air conditioning.


An option available in Japan and Europe was the TransTop, an electric mechanism which retracted the targa top into the trunk via a push of a button. The roof is operated by flicking two catches above the windows, then holding down a button. The trunk lid raises vertically and two arms extend into the targa top. After locking the lid to the arms, the arms pull the targa into the trunk lid, which lowers back down with the roof inside. The open process is reversed for the closure and return of the targa top.[1]

Model updates[edit]

Autumn 1992 ('93 model year):

  • CR-X del Sol launched in two trim levels - SiR (VTEC w/ optional limited slip differential) and VX
  • Civic del Sol launched in two trim levels - S (VXi) and Si (ESi) (North America)

Changes for 1994:

  • Added VTEC trim level, with B16A3 engine (DOHC VTEC) 160 hp (119 kW) 118 lb⋅ft (160 N⋅m) (US), and improved suspension (US)
  • S trim level receives front sway bar
  • Dual airbags standard (US)

Changes for 1995:

  • Civic tag dropped from US del Sol name. Model now called del Sol (USA)
  • VXi was only available in Japan as a 1.5 SOHC VTEC. VGi was the Japanese version of the European ESi 1.6 SOHC VTEC.
  • Redesigned targa top seals to help prevent leakage (US)
  • Added anti-lock brakes (VTEC model), 2,522 lb (1,144 kg) base weight now (US)
  • Heater vents in center console can now be open or closed
  • Added remote trunk release (US)
  • New seat materials (US)
  • New carpeting material (US)
  • Low fuel light (US)
  • New alloy wheel design (US)
  • Added power steering (US); standard on Si, VTEC

Changes for 1996 (mid-model refresh):

  • Elimination of B16A3 engine (US)
  • Added new VTEC engine B16A2 (DOHC VTEC w/l.s.d.) 160 hp (119 kW) 111 lb⋅ft (150 N⋅m) (7 lb⋅ft (9 N⋅m) less than original) (B16A2 engine is the same as 99-2000 Civic Si)(US)
  • Elimination of front auxiliary headlamps (US)
  • Small airdam / rear deck aesthetic treatment (US)
  • New front bumper and air dam (US)
  • Length increase to 157.7 in (4,006 mm)(US)
  • The base del Sol S receives the 106 hp 1.6-liter engine, a four-hp increase over previous years 1.5-liter. (US)
  • The del Sol Si receives the 1996 127 hp Civic engine, as well as the suspension and steering of the 160 PS (118 kW) VTEC. (US)
  • The del Sol Si receives a firmer suspension, larger front stabilizer bar and rear stabilizer bar used on the VTEC model.
  • All del Sols now have 1.6 liter engines: 106 hp (79 kW), 127 hp (95 kW) and 160 hp (119 kW) (US).
  • OBD-II Emission control system Implemented.

Change for 1997:

Completion during 1998:

  • Production ends (Japan, Europe)


Number of del sols sold in the USA:[2]

1993 25,748
1994 21,075
1995 14,021
1996 8,489
1997 5,603

VIN Decoder[edit]

VIN Decoder for US Domestic Market del Sol:

Example     Description
 Vin #
-------    --------------------------------
   J   ]─ Country of Manufacture: J= Japan
   H   ]─ Make: H= Honda Motor Company
   M   ]─ Passenger car
   E   ┐ 	   EG1 = D15B7 (93-95 S)
   G   ├─ Engine:  EG2 = B16A3 (94-95 VTEC), B16A2 (96-97 VTEC)
   1   ┘	   EH6 = D16Z6 (93-95 Si), D16Y7 (96-97 S), D16Y8 (96-97 Si) 
   1   ]─ Body/Transmission: 1= 2-Door manual 5-speed   2= 2-Door automatic
   4   ]─ Vehicle Series: 4= S, 6= Si, 7 or 9= Si with ABS, or VTEC
   3   ]─ Check Digit
   S   ]─ Model Year: P= 1993, R= 1994, S= 1995, T= 1996, V= 1997
   S   ]─ Assembly Plant: S= Suzuka
   0   ┐
   0   │
   1   ├── Serial Number, sequentially numbered via production output
   2   │
   3   |
   4   ┘

See also[edit]

The del Sol was also featured in Top Gear USA Season 1, episode 4 in 2010.