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 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.
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 the iconic 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) 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.
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.
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.
Autumn 1992 ('93 model year):
CR-X del Sol launched in Japan with two trim levels (JDM) - SiR (170 PS 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), 9000 rpm tachometer, 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 (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