It turns out that keeping our new Acura Integra expectations in check was the right thing to do. The fresh ‘Teg has been previewed in production-ready prototype form, and while we’ll happily welcome a non-crossover, more driver-focused car in 2021, it’s anything ground-breaking.
Given the footprint, the Integra is - as anticipated - based on a Civic. Acura says it has a “high output’ 1.5-litre turbo engine, a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. So, what we have here is likely a Civic Si with a new name, a new look and a hatchback-style body opening.
It’s handsome enough for a car dealing with modern crash and pedestrian safety regulations, with its frameless “Diamond Pentagon” grille and bumper brake ducts making for a nicely aggressive front end. Plus, the Integra name is embossed under the driver’s side headlight and the passenger side rear cluster, which is a nice touch. All of this is finished in Indy Yellow Pearl, a hue borrowed from the current NSX which bears some resemblance to the Phoenix Yellow paint available on the DC2 Honda Integra Type R.
Acura has even put a splash of the stuff inside the two exhaust tailpipes and finished the “oversized” Brembo brake calipers thusly. The latter reside under some matte black 19-inch wheels wrapped in Continental tyres that measure - just as they do on the Civic Si - 235mm wide.
Other Si chassis improvements - which include increased spring rates, beefier anti-roll bars and bushings taken from the Type R - will likely feature also. One mechanical area that differentiates this from the Civic, however, is the transmission. While the Si is strictly manual only, the Integra will have the option of an automatic, which will almost certainly be one of the continuously variable (CVT) variety.
Given the relationship with its Honda cousin, it is possible that an Acura Type R might happen, using the same 300bhp+ 2.0-litre powertrain set to go into the soon-to-be-revealed Civic Type R. Keep those fingers crossed.
Acura has pledged to reveal more about the new Integra “closer to its market introduction in the first half of next year”. It’ll debut as a 2023 model year car, built on the same Marysville Auto Plant production line as the TLX. Thus far Acura is only talking about selling it in the US, but we’d be surprised if the car doesn’t make it to other markets.
A UK introduction isn’t outside the realms of possibility, but we wouldn’t bank on it given that the Acura brand doesn’t exist here. When asked by Car Throttle about the possibility of the Integra making it to our shores, a Honda UK said it had “nothing to comment” on the matter.