Updated: Oct 11, 2020
The CRX-R is an Oxymoron of sorts. Such a car was never produced, even as a concept by Honda. In brotherhood with the EF chassis Civic, which shared many common parts, the CR-X Coupe was combined as the first to encapsulate the venerable B16A V-Tec engine.
To start with, we ought to pay homage to the temple of V-Tec & put the original engine into perspective: Back in 1989 when Honda unleashed the 16A DOHC V-Tec engine, Japan was at the peak of its domestic bubble economy and Japan’s manufacturers were fighting for attention. They each wanted to showcase their abilities to produce excellence, primarily focused on supplying exciting cars for the domestic market’s youngsters, who for the first time in Japan's history were about to be spoilt rotten for choice.
Back then, the hottest of hot-hatches the Europeans were mass-producing to cater for strongly demanding customers, were Volkswagen’s 112 bhp Golf and Peugeot’s venerable 205 1.9 GTi.
Now - as Honda unleashed these new, powerful, high-revving lightweight cars, complete with double-wishbone suspension and resultant handling prowess, the goalposts were moved as a rude awakening for the European manufacturers.