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
  • Honda[1]
AssemblyJapan: Suzuka, Mie (Suzuka Plant)
DesignerYoshikazu Kigoshi (1989)[2]
Body and chassis
ClassSport compact
Body style2-door roadster
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
ChassisEG1, EG2, EH1, EH6, EJ4
RelatedHonda Civic
Acura/Honda Integra
Transmission4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,370 mm (93.3 in)
Length4,005 mm (157.7 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

The Honda del Sol is a 2-seater 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 the 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 Civic Del Sol SiR received acclaim in Japan as one of the first naturally aspirated mass production cars to output more than 100 PS 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 km/h (62 mph) 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.[3]


The del Sol was first introduced to Japan, Europe, and North America in 1992 for the 1993 model year. Trim levels in the US were initially limited to the S and Si models powered by SOHC Honda D-series engines while the Japanese market received the SiR powered by a 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) B16 SiR-II 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, power steering, heated mirrors, front fog lights (1993–1995 models only), traction control system (JDM only), limited slip differential (JDM only), and air conditioning.


The 1993-1994 USDM Del Sol came in 5 colors: Captiva Blue Pearl (color code B62P), Frost White (code NH538), Granada Black Pearl (code NH503P), Milano Red (code R81), and Samba Green Pearl (code GY15P). For 1995, Honda replaced Captiva Blue Pearl and Samba Green Pearl with Isle Green Pearl (code G71P) and Paradise Blue-Green Pearl (code BG33P), and made Frost White available on the Si. For 1996-1997, Honda removed the Paradise Blue-Green Pearl color, replaced Isle Green Pearl with Cypress Green Pearl (code G82P), and added Vogue Silver Metallic (NH583M).[4]

1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Color name S Si S Si VTEC S Si VTEC S Si VTEC S Si VTEC
Captiva blue pearl (B62P) X X X X X N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Samba green pearl (GY15P) N/A X N/A X N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Granada black pearl (NH503P) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Frost white (NH538) X N/A X N/A N/A X X N/A X X N/A X X N/A
Milano red (R81) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Isle green pearl (G71P) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A X N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Paradise blue-green pearl (BG33P) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A X X N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Cypress green pearl (G82P) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A X X N/A X X
Vogue silver metallic (NH583M) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A X N/A N/A X N/A N/A


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.[5]

Model updates[edit]

Autumn 1992 ('93 model year):

  • CR-X del Sol launched in Japan with two trim levels - VXi and SiR (170 PS VTEC w/ optional limited slip differential) (JDM)
  • Civic del Sol launched in USA with two trim levels - S and Si (US)
  • CR-X del Sol launched in Europe with two trim levels- ESi and VTi (EDM)

USDM Changes for 1994:

  • Added VTEC trim level, with B16A3 engine (DOHC VTEC) 160 hp (119 kW) 118 lb⋅ft (160 N⋅m) (US), 9000 rpm tachometer, and improved suspension (US)
  • S trim level receives front sway bar
  • Dual SRS airbags standard (US)

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)
  • Low fuel light (US)
  • New alloy wheel design (US) [6]
  • S receives redesigned wheel covers (US)
  • Si and VTEC receive redesigned alloy wheels

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)
  • The del Sol VTEC receives the 160 hp B16A2 engine (US)
  • OBD-II Emission control system Implemented.
  • New seat materials (US)
  • New carpeting material (US)

Change for 1997:

  • Production ends (United States, Canada)

End of Production in 1998:

  • Production ends (Japan, Europe)


Number of del Sols sold in the United States by calendar year:[7]

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

Due to a production delay, some of the 1996 USDM sales were leftover 1995 model year cars.

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= 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   ┘


  1. ^, as archived at
  2. ^ "United States Patent, Kigoshi et al" (PDF). Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  3. ^ Honda. "Worst Sports Cars: Honda Del Sol". Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Honda CR-X del Sol TransTop demonstration on YouTube
  6. ^ Mateja, Jim. "CIVIC DEL SOL IS NOT ALL SUNSHINE". Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  7. ^ "FAQ - Del Sol General Info and Questions - Car Forums and Automotive Chat". Retrieved 24 June 2019.