Honda nerds won't like this. Oh well.
On paper and in reality, 92 or so hp is not much, even if you’re driving a 1990 Honda CRX three-door hatchback. In case you’re unfamiliar with the CRX, do a Google search and you’ll quickly learn that it has a cult-like following and finding one that’s still bone stock isn’t always easy. And then there’s this CRX owner, who graciously let The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah drive it through some beautiful Southern California mountain roads. He bought his CRX from its first owner who kept it stock.
While some would treasure the car’s authenticity, this guy wanted more power, so he did what had to be done: he ripped out the original engine. The originally transmission went too. In their place is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 145 hp, courtesy of a 1999 CR-V crossover. The new five-speed gearbox came out of an Acura Integra.
Because this new powertrain is also from Honda, everything fit right into place. The CRX is even smog-legal. Weighing in at only around 2,300 pounds, that power-to-weight ratio is also pretty impressive, resulting in a fun little car that loves to be thrashed around. Sure, some Honda nerds won’t approve of the engine/transmission swap, but this guy knew what he wanted and just went for it, to hell with the purists. The results speak for themselves.