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The Honda CR-X, also known as the Honda Ballade Sports CR-X, is a sport compact car that was assembled between 1983 and 1991 at the Suzuka Plant in Japan. The CR-X was produced as a three-door hatchback or kammback. Its successors are believed to be the Honda CR-X del Sol, Honda CR-Z, and the first generation of the Honda Insight.
The Honda CR-X’s First Generation
In some regions outside Japan, the CR-X was known as the Honda Civic CR-X. At that time, the cars’ engine had the capacity of 1.3 litres until a 1.5-litre motor was available (the latter was coupled with a 5-speed transmission).
Among other virtues that make us respect the Japanese engineers’ creation is fuel efficiency. They had concerned about the environment long before the first hybrid was made. The EPA estimated the CR-X with a 1.3-litre engine at 52 hwy mpg while the autos with a 1.5-litre one achieved even better mileage – 51 hwy mpg (42 mpg in the city).
Due to the CR-X’s lightweight, the car’s performance was brilliant: it reached 60 mph in 8.5 seconds.
The Honda CR-X’s Second Generation
1988 saw a considerable chassis change: independent wishbones were used instead of semi-independent rear and torsion bar front. All over the world except for North America, the CR-X of the second generation had either a 1493 cc SOHC engine or 1590 cc DOHC ZC one. Furthermore, fuel injection wasn’t uncommon.
A year later, in 1989, Honda’s engine line-up was supplemented by the 1595 cc B16A VTEC engine. The CR-X became the second car after the Integra to have this engine built in. The Variable Valve Timing technology it used guaranteed power increase when the rev range was high. Besides, it prevented from poor idling and higher fuel consumption at a low rotation rate. The VTEC produced 148-158 hp and 110-118 kW, depending on the model and outlet.
The CR-Xs produced in Japan listed a fixed glass panel and glass roof as optional features.
The Honda CR-X’s Third Generation
The Honda Civic del Sol, a two-seater front-wheel-drive targa top car, introduced in 1992, is considered to represent the third generation of the CR-X although it isn’t quite so. The Del Sol is a completely different auto. Even one glance at these two cars is enough to understand this – their designs have nothing in common. The reason why most people take it as the CR-X’s successor is that it was known as the CR-X del Sol or even CR-X in some regions. The Del Sol was discontinued in 1998. The car has such a sunny name due to its partly convertible roof: a hardtop and rear window can be folded.
The Honda Civic CR-X 1.5Si
For you to understand what the Honda CR-X is all about, we offer you to read a short review of the 1985 Honda Civic CR-X 1.5Si (‘Si’ stands for ‘sport injection’).
The CR-X 1.5Si appeared to be even sportier than its precursors. The most significant modernization was incorporation of an electronic fuel-injection system along with an all-new tuned runner in an intake manifold into a 1.5-litre aluminium engine. The innovation made the CVCC pre-chambers unnecessary.
A modernized engine appeared to be much more powerful. Compare: an engine used earlier produced 76 bhp (at 6,000 rpm) and 84 lb/ft of torque (at 3,500 rpm) while a renovated one made 91 bhp (at 5,500 rpm) and 93 lb/ft of torque (at 4,500 rpm). It let the engine to accelerate the car to 60 mph in 9.1 seconds.
Although the engine was upgraded, the suspension, tires, and wheels weren’t. Among other innovative for the CR-X features, there were a power sunroof (it had somewhat different sliding system: instead of moving backward into the roof, it slid upward and then backward on the top of it. It saved some headroom for passengers in the rear seats), 5-inch aluminium wheels, rear wiper and washer, and even a new rear spoiler. The CR-X 1.5Si was available in white, blue, red, and metallic-black.
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