Why The Honda Civic Del Sol Was Underrated
Before photographer Robin Trajano daily-drove the MotorTrend BMW X3 M40i, he owned an E46 BMW M3 — and a Honda Civic Del Sol before that. Later shortened to just Del Sol, the distinctive Honda only lasted one generation in the 1990s. So how much do you really know about this long-gone Civic variant? Keep reading for the full story.
100 Horsepower Per Liter: The V-TEC Model
It featured an optional 1.6-liter DOHC VTEC motor, codenamed b16A3, that produced 160 horsepower and redlined at an impressive 8,200 rpm. Specific output equates to 100 horsepower per liter, which was impressive for a naturally aspirated motor in 1995. For comparison, a 1995 Mustang GT 5.0 only achieved 43 horsepower per liter.
The factory bucket seats were some of the most comfortable seats I’ve ever sat in. The red stripe down the middle made the seats look aftermarket.
S, Si, and V-TEC
Other Del Sols also used a 1.6-liter engine, which was offered in a 106 hp/103 lb-ft and 127 hp/107 lb-ft forms. Both the S and Si offered a four-speed auto and a five-speed manual. The more powerful V-TEC model was only offered with a five-speed manual.
The car had a removable targa top that can be stored in the trunk. It locks into place on a rack built into the trunk that opens up to allow access to the cargo area even while the top is stored.