The Honda CR-X, originally launched as the Honda Ballade Sports CR-X in Japan, was a compact sports car manufactured by Honda. The first generation CR-X was sold in some regions outside Japan as the Honda Civic CR-X. The name "CR-X" is an acronym for "Civic Renaissance model X."
The Honda Civic CR-X was first produced in 1983 for the 1984 model year and was a lightweight sport hatchback. In the American market, the CR-X was marketed as an economy sport hatchback, having room for just two passengers. European markets, however, received a more powerful ZC 130 hp engine and four seats.
Redesigned in 1987 and produced to 1992, the CR-X was very popular for its performance (specifically the US performance model, the Si), nimble handling, and good fuel economy. The original 1.3 liter car and the later American-market CR-X HF model could reliably achieve better than 50 mpg, more than a decade before gas-electric hybrids appeared on the market, and at no price premium over the base model; the 1.3 liter was rated at over 50 mpg for highway.
One of the rarest options for the CR-X was the "Cyber Glass" roof, which stretched from the top of the windshield, and went all the way back to the hatch opening; such equipped models are extremely rare.
The Japanese Si and European 16v models came with a 1.6 L dual overhead camshaft engine putting out 128 bhp. The Si engine was stamped ZC, whilst the 16v stamped D16A9. Honda refreshed the looks of the car in these markets in 1990 when it added the B16A VTEC engine to the lineup. This engine used Variable Valve Timing and Lift to provide increased power in the high rev range, while still allowing low fuel consumption and better idleing at low RPMs. the B16A produced 150 bhp in the European VT model and 160 bhp in the JDM SiR model. The CR-X was the second car to receive a VTEC engine after the Integra.
In 1992, Honda replaced the CR-X with a new, Targa-topped, Civic-based model called the Honda Civic Del Sol, otherwise known as simply the Honda Del Sol. The Del Sol was also badged as the CR-X Del Sol in some markets. It is because of this that the Del Sol is generally considered the "3rd Generation CR-X" among enthusiats, although it was arguably a very different car. In the United States, the Del-Sol came in three trim lines: S, Si, and VTEC; The latter featuring a 160hp DOHC engine, Production of the Del Sol ended in 1997, and thus, the CR-X was retired.
There have been many rumours of a CR-X comeback, none of which have come to fruition. However, in August 2005, Autoweek reported that Honda planned a revival of the CR-X that is scheduled to be on the market in 2007; no official announcement has been made by Honda.
The Civic CR-X was Motor Trends Import Car of the Year for 1984. It also made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1985. The redesigned CR-X was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1988. The CR-X Si was Motor Trends Import Car of the Year for 1988.