“Fuel injected fun.”
For 1985, Honda put one of its hottest four cylinder engines into its tiny CRX, creating the Si. Si stood for Sports, injected and the new EW3/4 engine was a multiport fuel injected version of the carbureted 1.5 liter engine that had been the top of the line in 1984.
Horsepower was 91 bhp at 5,500 rpm, up 20% from the carbureted engine. This doesn’t sound like much, but the CRX only weighed about 1,800 pounds – to get the same power to weight ratio in a 2014 Honda Civic coupe you would need 143 bhp (interestingly, the 2014 Civic coupe has a … 143 bhp engine). Car and Driver recorded a 0-60 time of 9.1 seconds (Motor Trend reported 8.5 seconds) and a top speed of 112 mph. The EPA fuel economy rating with the required five-speed manual transmission was 32 city/36 highway by the standards of the day (27/33 by today’s standards).
The $7,999 base price (about $17,700 in 2014 dollars) included a power sunroof, a rear wiper/washer, 175/70R13 tires (a size last seen on the 2005 Hyundai Accent) on 5.0-inch-wide alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler molded of soft urethane instead of the hard plastic in other CRXs.
Since the CRX Si came pretty loaded by Honda standards, there were few options. The Si received an exclusive black paint option in place of the white available in other CRXs – red or blue were also available. Air conditioning was available only as a dealer accessory, as were rear speaker and a choice of various car stereos: Honda would continue to sell AC as a dealer accessory well into the 1990s.
I don’t see a lot of first-generation CRX Si’s come up for sale in either the Hemmings Motor News classifieds or on eBay Motors. However, there is good club support for the CRX at Red Pepper Racing.
Make mine black, please. It looks sharp with the red band on new for 1985 charcoal gray body cladding.
Finding detailed information about the 1983 Honda Civic 1500 S turned out to be surprisingly hard, so this is my first “Short Take”—a post that I don’t consider long enough to be a full discussion.
“We Make It Simple”
Honda continued to hit on all (4) cylinders in 1983 with the introduction of the Civic 1500 S. At $6,400 (about $15,700 in 2014 dollars), the 1500 S was the top of the two door hatchback line and over 30% more than the base 1300 model.
A handsome little car, the Civic 1500 S was fitted with firmer suspension (with rear stabilizer bar) and 165/70R13 Michelin tires. A red accent encircled the 1500 S and set it apart from other Civics as well as a black grille and blackout paint around the window frames.
The 1500 S’ engine was not specific to it, but was the optional EM 1.5 liter inline four cylinder with three barrel carburetor, making 63 bhp. Mileage with the standard five speed manual transmission was 35 city/46 highway by the standards of the day.
Standard equipment included a tachometer and front spoiler. )-60 came in a little under 13 seconds and top speed was about 99 mph for the last of second-generation Civics.
Make mine black, please.
“Are you using the right car for your gasoline?”
Even for the 1980s, the 1984 Honda Civic CRX two-seater was absolutely tiny, with a length of a little over 12 feet and a weight of around 1,800 pounds. The CRX debuted as a new model included with the introduction of the all new third generation Civic line.
There were two engine choices for the CRX in 1984. The CRX HF (High Fuel economy) got a carbureted 1.3 liter inline 4 cylinder with all of 60 bhp – but this got you 46 city/52 highway by the standards of the day (still 38/47 by today’s standards). It also got you a 0-60 time of about 12 seconds.
Moving up to the DX got you the EW1 carbureted 1.5 liter inline 4 cylinder with 76 bhp – enough to reduce the 0-60 time to a little over 10 seconds and still get 32 city/38 highway by the eighties standards (28/35 by the current standard).
Standard was a five-speed manual, but you could get a three-speed automatic with the DX – though I’m not at all sure why you’d want one.
The first generation CRX found its markets and sold quite well, with over 48,000 in 1984 and a total of 218,000 over four years. In 1985, the fuel injected 91 bhp Si would come along – but that is a topic for another blog post.
I see early CRX’s occasionally, but they’ve become rarer and rarer on the roads in the northeast. I have yet to see one at an auto show, but I’d love to.
Make my 1984 CRX a DX in blue (with the standard metallic gray lower rocker panels), please.