But also keep this in mind. While we all remember the CRX for its extraordinary fuel mileage, this is because of the special, low-performance, fuel-sipping CRX HF. Back in 1987 the EPA rated the Honda CRX HF at an incredible 52 mpg in the city and 57 mpg on the highway. But once you calculate the CRX's numbers with the latest EPA methodology, its results drop to 42 mpg and 51 mpg, respectively. The 1987 CRX Si, on the other hand, carried a sticker showing an EPA-certified 30 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which converts to 26 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway today. The legend of the hyper-parsimonious CRX is at least somewhat conditional.
In deference to Chris Hoffman's CRX Si's age and 108,500 miles, we're using performance numbers generated by Motor Trend in its issue of March 1985, which featured coverage of the 1985 Honda CRX Si. The CRX galloped to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds (with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and ripped through the quarter-mile in 16.2 seconds at 84.5 mph. That's not terrible performance today, and it was terrific performance for back then. Faster than the Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo, Pontiac Fiero V6 and Toyota MR2, the editors noted.
According to Honda's factory specifications, the 1987 Honda CRX weighed 1,830 pounds with a full tank of fuel, which makes it 824 pounds lighter than the CR-Z EX. The math says this means every one of the CRX Si's 91 horses has to move 20.1 pounds of vehicle mass. Each of the CR-Z EX's 122 horses has to contend with 21.8 pounds of heft. Virtually all the measurable performance differences between the two cars can be explained in light of those numbers.
The Style of No Style
But it's not just the Honda CRX's super-dink proportions that differentiate it from its hybrid grandkid. The CRX's body is almost unadorned; the flat body panels are clean and free of styling flourishes. This unfussiness lets the CRX's slope-backed profile become the visual focal point of the car. The CR-Z's visual firepower, on the other hand, lies in details like the character lines that run along its flanks, around the beautifully shaped rear taillights and across the rear glass panel.
|Honda CRX HF||17,516||23,846||22,947||2,617||66,926|
|Honda CRX Si||18,054||18,735||14,009||14,447||65,245|