Honda CR-X del Sol

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Honda Del Sol
1997 Honda Civic CR-X ESi 1.6 Front.jpg
Also called
  • Honda Civic del Sol
  • Honda Civic CRX
Chassis EG1, EG2, EH1, EH6, EJ4
AssemblySuzuka Plant, Suzuka, Mie, Japan
Body and chassis
ClassSport compact
Body style2-door roadster
LayoutFF layout
RelatedHonda Civic
Acura/Honda Integra
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,370 mm (93.3 in)
Length4,005 mm (157.6 in)
Width1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height1,255 mm (49.4 in)
Curb weight2,295–2,535 lb (1,041–1,150 kg)
PredecessorHonda CR-X
SuccessorHonda CR-Z
Honda S2000

The Honda CRX 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 featured a removable hardtop that stowed in the trunk and a retractable rear window. Manual and automatic “Transtop” roofs were available.

The CRX Del Sol SiR received acclaim in Japan as one of the first mass production cars to output more than 100 HP per litre and the first with an electronic targa roof. (Transtop model) During its debut on Japanese car show ‘Best Motoring’ reviewer Keiichi Tsuchiya declared the Del Sol SiR to be the most important Japanese sports car for a decade. Performance specifications for the JDM SiR give the 2-seater a 0-100 time of 7 seconds and a standing quarter mile time of 14.7 as reviewed by “Option” magazine in 1992.

Production and sales ended with the 1997 model in the U.S. and 1998 elsewhere.


The CRX del Sol was first introduced to Japan, Europe, and North America in 1992. Trim levels in the US were limited to the S and Si models powered by SOHC Honda D-series engines while the Japanese market received the SiR powered by the iconic 170PS B16A2 DOHC VTEC and featuring optional LSD.

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 "Si" (called the "ESi" in Europe) model came standard with a 1.6 liter SOHC 16-valve four cylinder engine . 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.

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 Japan with two trim levels (JDM) - SiR (170ps VTEC w/ optional limited slip differential) and VX
  • Civic del Sol launched in USA with two trim levels (USDM) - S (VXi) and Si (ESi)

USDM 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)

USDM Changes for 1995:

  • Civic tag dropped from US del Sol name. Model now called del Sol (US)
  • VXi was only available in Japan as a 1.5 SOHC VTEC. VGi, which was the Japanese version of the European ESi 1.6 SOHC VTEC, replaced the VXi. (JDM)
  • 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)
  • Power steering now standard on Si, VTEC (US)[2]

Changes for 1996 (mid-model refresh):

  • 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 D16Y8 Civic engine, as well as the suspension, larger front and rear stabilizer bars, and steering of the 160 PS (118 kW) VTEC. (US)
  • OBD-II Emission control system Implemented.

Change for 1997:

Completion during 1998:

  • Production ends (Japan, Europe)


Number of del sols sold in the US:[3]

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.