Acura reintroduced the 2023 Integra prototype Thursday night, resurrecting one of its most iconic nameplates. Despite the Integra being — checks notes — precisely the type of car that people complain about corporations discontinuing production, the internet quickly erupted with scorn for Acura’s resurrected classic. However, why?
The new Integra is a tiny hatchback with a turbocharged engine and a manual transmission. Pricing is expected to be in the neighbourhood of $30,000. This is precisely what enthusiasts desire: A compact, inexpensive, sporty automobile without sacrificing creature comforts or functionality. Additionally, it has an actual name. Not some meaningless alphanumeric, but a word!
A frequent criticism is that the Integra is too similar to the Honda Civic and should be something entirely different. True, the Integra’s foundations are largely identical to those of the new Civic Si. The turbocharged 1.5-liter engine is same. Additionally, the six-speed manual transmission is carried through. Auto-adjustment of the revs? Differential with limited slippage? Yes, both of these are Integra-exclusive Civic Si features. However, how are any of these things detrimental?
Sharing components between vehicles maximize economies of scale, allowing Honda – and Acura – to keep production costs low. Acura could, of course, have gone all-in with a new chassis, a new body, or a new engine. But then we’d have a $45,000 Integra, and the bean counters would almost certainly have mandated that it be a crossover, which you people would have despised.
Many criticize Integra’s design, claiming that it is just an Acura-fied Civic Hatchback. I’m going to avoid discussing styling in this debate because your eyes may see things differently than mine. However, I enjoy the Integra, with its Hyundai Genesis Coupe-inspired taillights and everything.
Boredom concerns also extend to Integra’s performance, which is unusual given Acura’s failure to divulge any power specs. Not to mention that the original Integra was not a true sports vehicle. While Acura did gift us with the beautiful, sweet Integra Type R, the vehicle accounted for only a sliver of a proportion of total Integra sales. Previously, the Integra was a cheap and nimble compact car akin to the modern Civic Si.
Integra 2023 is exactly what it should be, and I’m looking forward to driving it next year. It’s a lot more fascinating effort than Acura’s previous compact car, the ILX, and, like the Civic Si on which it’s based, it’ll be loaded with features and technology at a reasonable price.
Oh, and don’t believe this is all Acura has planned. There is probably undoubtedly an Integra Type S in development, which will share a great deal with the forthcoming Honda Civic Type R, a car that devotees regard as the holy grail. Are you going to make a complaint about that as well?
The Acura Integra Prototype for 2023 Is a Nostalgic Powerhouse
The Acura Integra shot to fame in the United States towards the turn of the twentieth century as a more luxurious take on the Honda Civic Type R, a formula that entailed encasing all that Type R performance in a bit more stylish skin. Almost as importantly, Honda did not sell the Civic Type R in the United States, which meant that the decade’s penultimate Honda performance vehicle was badged Acura.
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