Honda Del Sol: History, Features, Timeline, and Evolution

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Honda Del Sol
Honda Del Sol

Honda Del Sol was first launched in 1992 in the United Kingdom, Japan, and the USA. It was quite the talk of the town with its charming Targa rooftop in the mid-90s.

Del Sol, a Spanish word, translates as “of the sun.” It represents the Targa rooftop, which allowed the buyers to remove the top section of the car and experience the “wind in your hair” moment; it also featured a sliding window. However, the car did not go by Del Sol in a few markets; it went by CR-X.

The two-seater car was based on the infamous Honda CR-X, except it sported a flashy design, Targa roof, sliding rear window, and was comparatively lighter in weight.

These cars were manufactured from the Suzuka plant in Japan and lasted till 1997 in the US, and in Europe and Japan, the car lasted till 1998. Aside from this, some features did show up in the US market, like a limited-slip differential and traction control.

Adventures of Honda Del Sol

Honda Del Sol
Honda Del Sol

This historic car is remembered for multiple reasons. One of these is the safety features installed in the car, as they were not so common at that time. Even during 1994 dual SRS airbags were considered a big thing, so when Del Sol, came with features like cruise control, rear disc brakes, wider tires, anti-sway bars, and power side mirrors, it was considered a big feat.

The accessibility of the TransTop roof, which is a feature that can remove and tuck your roof into the truck of the car automatically, was provided in Japan and Europe. It was truly impressive to get this feature in such a small and affordable sports car. However, the US did not get the TransTop with their Del Sol. They needed to remove and tuck the top all by themselves.

When Del Sol was initially launched in 1997, it got a good amount of attention and was praised because of its many features at a relatively lower price than other cars that were on the market during the time.

One major drawback of the car was that it consumed too much fuel. Drivers needed to make sure that they don’t run out of it and pay close attention to the gauge. However, the following models kept improving, and in 1995, a new feature low fuel warning system was installed.

The car made another level of success in Japan as it was the first car with an electronic removable top. The car was awarded many Japanese shows and thus left a mark on the sports car culture in the country.

In 1996, car sales were affected drastically, and the quality complaints kept rising. Even so, Honda managed to keep the cars manufacturing.


Honda Del Sol
Honda Del Sol

Honda launched two models in the US- the S model, the base model, and the Si model. The S was powered by a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with 13-inch steel wheels was a good combination.

A powered Si model 1.6 liters 4-cylinder engine powered the Si model and could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in eight seconds. It also sported 14-inch alloy wheels, for which Honda also offered a color-matched offer, but it was only limited to “Samba Green” only.

Still, Japan got the best engine Honda had to produce. The SiR model was powered by a 4-cylinder engine that produced a horsepower of 168 with a displacement of 1595 cubic centimeters. The car was able to jump to 62 miles per hour from 0 in 7.5 seconds.

Why did Honda stop manufacturing Del Sol?

Honda stopped manufacturing Del Sol only after five years in the US, as it didn’t get the hype expected to achieve. Also, there were some quality issues with the Targa top as it was very leaky, which caused too much trouble to the driver, and reportedly, the car was too noisy, which stopped the willing customers from buying more cars. In the end, only 5,603 models were able to be sold by the end of 1997.

Also Read: Honda Sports Car: Things Only Real Gearheads Would Know


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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