The 2024 Acura Integra is Getting a Type S Model, and we Drove it on the Track in Japan
The legendary Acura Integra has been revived for the 2023 model year, much to the delight of the moniker’s die-hard fans. But its long-awaited comeback was not without controversy, as the successor didn’t seem to check all the boxes from a purist’s perspective. The choice to give it a sedan hatchback style is questionable for some, but so is the choice to power it with the Honda Civic's 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and its continuously variable transmission... two elements that clash with what we know of the Integra from the end of the last millennium.
And even though it can be delivered in an A-Spec version that takes its styling and dynamics up a notch, those with the Integra emblem tattooed on their heart have been asking for (a lot) more.
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Today, we can officially announce that a high-performance Type S variant of the Integra will arrive for the 2024 model year. And in addition to a much racier styling signature, it will borrow the famous 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine found under the hood of the wild Honda Civic Type R. This powerful mill will be mated to an exclusive six-speed manual transmission that channels power to the front wheels via a limited-slip differential. Acura promises that this powertrain will output more than 300 horsepower - without sharing the exact figure. The same goes for torque...
The Car Guide flew to Honda's research and development centre in Tochigi, Japan, to give a 2024 Acura Integra Type S prototype a quick, but interesting test drive.
Camouflaged at High Speed on the Tochigi Development Circuit
It was hard to tell how the dimensions of this prototype differed from the normal Integra given the camouflaged livery, but it was very easy to see the lower grille that differs. We also spotted large Brembo calipers behind the wheels, as well as a triple exhaust system flanked by a pair of diffusers at the rear; which is another element borrowed from Honda's Civic Type R.
This exhaust system provides a deep, mechanical symphony to the ear, complete with occasional backfires similar to that emitted by Hyundai's N line models.
Our test-drive was limited to two laps on the heavily banked oval-shaped development circuit accompanied by a brand representative, but we had carte blanche on how quickly we reached the electronically set limiter at just over 200 km/h.
Like the exterior, our prototype’s interior also proved to be rather prudish, being almost entirely covered in opaque plastics so as not to reveal details on the finish, which was probably quite complete yet. However, the gearshift lever topped by a metal knob identical to the one found in the Civic Type R was prominently displayed in the centre console, right next to the driver. The decidedly short throw between gears allowed for lively acceleration up to cruising speed, all topped off with the rev-matching system.
The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine's overall performance is phenomenal, with minimal low-end lag and no front-end torque steer. At high speeds, we enjoyed a surprising acceleration, even in 5th gear, where the Integra Type S still delivers plenty of juice. In terms of stability, the steering gave us a good feel for the Type S's responsiveness.
The Puzzle is Coming Together
The idea of an Integra Type S that borrows key elements from the Integra Type R of yesteryear, such as the "Championship" white colour and the hugging Recaro seats with red stitching sounds nothing less than amazing to us.
And we agree that it's hard to find faults (and more qualities) with such a short encounter, but this appetizer served up on the Integra's home turf gave us a tantalizing taste of what Acura has in store for us with this Type S, but also how the brand wants to go about satisfying the purists. A full test-drive will be in order to determine if this Type S is competitive, but also if it can be a spiritual successor to the Type R.
More information on features, specifications, pricing and availability will be released in the coming months.