CRX History: Courtesy of Some Guy
Introduced in 1984, the Honda Civic CRX marked Honda's reentry into the low-end sports coupe market. Honda's previous offerings the S500/S800, and the Z-600 Coupe, were grand successes in their home market -- but they fizzled elsewhere. The name CRX marks this reentry -- it means Civic Renaissance, Model X. Honda revamped the Civic line in 1984, and embarked on a program to revise each vehicle line every four years. They replaced the Civic wagon with a taller wagon nee minivan, called the Wagovan (in case you thought the CRV was an original idea), kept the hatchback and sedan, and introduced the two seat CRX. History was made.
To clear some confusion, lets examine why you'll find references to 1983 CRXs and 1992 CRXs, or stranger still, 1993-present CRXs. Here in the U.S., the first model year for the CRX was 1984, and there was no 1992 CRX. Honda sells a two-seater, but it's no CRX -- it's a del Sol. So what gives?
Certain countries base a car's model year not on the model produced as of January 1st, but on the actual production date. In New Zealand, my 1984 CRX 1.3, produced in May 1983, would be a 1983 model. But what about those 1992 CRXs?
In 1992, Honda decided to continue production of the CRX for their home market, and for much of Europe. In North America, we missed out. Honda even introduced the VTEC engine in 1992. That's right. In Europe, you could buy a 1992 Honda CRX VTEC. But, that doesn't explain these bizarre sightings of 1993 and newer CRXs...
Honda markets this two seater under a variety of names. Here in North America, Honda decided to give the two seater a catchy name. It's rumored they hoped to accomplish two goals: spark new interest in their two seat sport coupe, and thwart the skyrocketing insurance rates which hounded their beloved CRX. That new name? Civic del Sol. That explains the origin of the del Sol, but what about those 1993 CRXs?
Again, a variety of names. What we call a del Sol, the rest of the globe calls a CRX. As far as Honda's concerned, the CRX didn't die. At least, not yet. What other names have been used on this car?
In 1984, Honda introduced our little pocket rocket as the Ballade Sports CR-X in their home market; the Honda Civic CRX in North America. In 1988, Honda rolled out their Cyber CR-X; we called it a Honda Civic CRX. I've seen 1993-1997 CRXs in Bahrain, and possibly a CRX del Sol in Germany.
Trivia? This car might not have been called CRX at all. My first edition 1984 Civic Service Manual never refers to the CRX; calling the two-seater a Honda Civic Coupe, instead. It appears the name CRX/CR-X was a last minute decision.
Honda produced three generations of CRX. These were each based on Honda Civics, following the Civic model line through each revision. There's a catch -- we'll cover that in a moment.
The first generation CRX coincided with Honda's third Civic generation. This production lasted from 1984 through 1987. In 1988, Honda revamped the Civic model line, and brought major improvements to the power train and suspension. Honda brought their agile double-wishbone suspension from the Prelude and Accord to the Civic and CRX. The result: outstanding. This generation lasted from 1988 through 1991 in the U.S., and continued another year in other markets.
The third generation is the del Sol. Here's where Honda broke with recent tradition. Introduced in 1993, The del Sol was a year late - it's based on the 1992 Civic. This version of the del Sol continues in production today, even though Honda revised the Civic in 1996. Pundits explain the del Sol took more time to design and to tool for manufacture, and that this tooling cost a lot. Honda may be recouping their investment by running the line for five years, while they design the next two seater. Rumors abound. Expect to see a new two-seater nee CRX/del Sol in 2000, when Honda releases the next generation Civic. That's my WAG, or wild-arsed guess.
You won't find a CRX in the U.S. with factory cruise control. Power windows? No chance. So why do our European friends get all the cool toys; the power gadgets, the honking, screaming engines, and the like?
In the United States, value is the watchword. The automobile market here is the most aggressive in the world. Honda tends to keep the feature list short on their North American offerings to compete with similarly equipped economy cars. Even today, with Honda automobiles costing as much as their American counterparts, the models Honda offers sometimes lag their overseas counterparts in gadgetry or engine and suspension performance features; making Honda cars cost-competitive with their aggressively priced American competition.
Elsewhere, where cars are just more expensive, Honda offers technology and performance not available here. Some features reserved for Acura in the US, find their way into Honda CRXs in other markets. You already know the VTEC engine was available in overseas versions of the 1992 CRX. Still other features may show up only in home-market cars.
The home market Cyber CR-X, in Japan was available with a fixed-glass roof (1988-1991). Several models, like the EF7 and EF8, with their up rated engines, simply aren't sold in the United States.
Honda historically markets their two seat economy sport coupe under several names, like: Ballade Sports CR-X, Cyber CR-X, and CRX del Sol. In the U.S., we call the third-generation CRX by a different name: Civic del Sol. My first edition 1984 Civic Service Manual never refers to the CRX, calling the two-seater a Honda Civic Coupe, instead (CRX/CR-X may have been a last minute change).
All CRXs are built on platforms based on the Honda Civic. The two models share most of their mechanical parts. However, the CRX and the Civics don't share any sheet metal. Honda CRXs are outfitted with distinctive body panels, lighting systems, and interiors.
What are the differences between second generation Honda CRX models?
The 1988-1991 Honda CRX came in 3 trim levels: HF, DX and Si.All came with a variant of the D series SOHC motor. The HF models have the lightest curb weight, lowest HP, but best fuel economy. The DX, which is unbadged, is the middle of the road and the Si is the highest trim level, the best motor and the most options.
|Curb Weight in Lbs.|
|CRX HF||CRX DX||CRX Si|
1991 Model Year Specific Info (unless noted)
|Type||Aluminum-Alloy In-Line 4|
|(88-91) Displacement (cc)||1493||1493||1590|
|(88) Horsepower @ rpm (SAE net)||62 @ 4500||92 @ 6000||105 @ 6000|
|(88) Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)||90 @ 2000||89 @ 4500||98 @ 5000|
|(89-91) Horsepower @ rpm (SAE net)||62 @ 4500||92 @ 6000||108 @ 6000|
|(89-91) Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)||90 @ 2000||89 @ 4500||100 @ 5000|
|Fuel System||Multi-Point Fuel
|Ignition System||Electronic, Distributor, Single Coil|
|Valve Train||SOHC 8-Valve||SOHC 16-Valve||SOHC 16-Valve|
|Horsepower @ rpm||62 @ 4500||92 @ 6000||108 @ 6000|
|Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)||90 @ 2000||89 @ 4500||100 @ 5000|
|Redline (Fuel Cutoff RPM)||5500||6800||7000|
|Fuel Octane (PON/RON)||86/91||86/91||86/91|
|Automatic Transmission: (available)||NA||4-Speed||NA|
|Final Drive Ratio (MT/AT)||2.95/NA||3.89/3.93||4.25/NA|
Gear vs. Speed
|Suspension, Front||Double Wishbone|
|Suspension, Rear||Multi-Control Double Wishbone|
|Stabilizer Bar (mm, front/rear)||17.0/NA||18.0/NA||18.0/15.0|
|Turning Diameter, Curb-to-Curb (ft.)||30.4||30.4||30.4|
|Dual-Diagonal Brake System||Front Disc/Rear Drum||Front Disc/Rear Drum||4-Wheel Disc|
|Hub Specs||Bolt Pattern 4x100; Center Bore/Hub Dia. 56.1 mm|
|Wheels||13x5.5" Steel w/Center Caps||13x5.5" Steel w/Center Caps||14x6" Alloy|
|Tires: All-Season||P165/70 R13||P175/70 R13||P185/60 R14 82H|
|Lining Surface Area: (Front/Rear)cm²||36.7/50.2||45.5/50.2||45.5/50.2|
|Disk Diameter: (Front/Rear)mm||231/Drum||242/Drum||242/???|
|Track (in., front/rear)||57.1/57.3||57.1/57.3||57.1/57.3|
|Curb Weight (lbs., MT/AT)||1967/NA||2103/2136||2174/NA|
|Coefficient of Drag (Cd)||0.29||0.30||0.30|
|Shoulder Room (in.)||53.5||53.5||53.5|
|Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)||23.2||23.2||23.2|
|Engine Oil with Filter (qt.)||4.2||4.2||4.2|
|Cooling System (qts., MT/AT)||5.5/NA||5.4/5.3||5.7/NA|
|Rear Window Wiper/Washer||*||*|
|Front Spoiler||*||No (Si part fits)||*|
|Manual Door Mirrors||Left||Left&Right||Left&Right|
|3-Spoke Steering Wheel||*||*|
|Adjustable Steering Column||*||*|
|Quartz Digital Clock||*||*|
|Adjustable Head Restraints||*||*||*|
|Cargo Area Light||*||*||*|
|Hatch-Open Warning Light||*||*||*|
|Remote Hatch Release||*||*||*|
|Remote Fuel Filler Door Release||*||*||*|
|Rear Window Defroster with Timer||*||*||*|
|3-Point Passive Restraint Seat Belt System||*||*||*|
|Child Safety-Seat Anchors||*||*||*|
|Tahitian Green Pearl/Black||*|
|Flint Black Metallic/Black||*||*|
|Torino Red Pearl/Black||*|
|Celestial Blue Pearl/Black||*|
|EPA MILEAGE ESTIMATES||HF||DX||Si|
|49-State: City/Highway (5-Speed Manual)||49/52||32/36||28/33|
|49-State: City/Highway (4-Speed Automatic)||NA||29/34||NA|
|California: City/Highway (5-Speed Manual)||43/49||32/36||28/33|
|California: City/Highway (4-Speed Automatic)||NA||29/34||NA|