After more than two decades off the books, Acura has revived the Integra name. After a roller coaster of emotions revolving around the name, from the announcement hype to a disappointing concept reveal, we at least now have some concrete numbers on which to judge the successor to one of the most beloved sport compacts in history.
In typical Honda fashion, the production car is remarkably similar to the concept introduced last November. As predicted, it’s powered by the exact same drivetrain that powers the new Civic Si, a 1.5-liter turbo four rated at 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Some believed that it might have come with a modest power bump to differentiate it from its Honda sibling, but no. Perhaps Acura is saving that for the Type S variant (a Type S is something that has been promised for every Acura model).
After making a big deal out of the manual transmission, the standard transmission is a — brace yourself — CVT. The 6-speed stick is only available on the higher-grade A-Spec trim, but we think that’s perfectly fine. Gone are the days when a manual transmission was for thrifty types. Now only enthusiasts choose stick, and the A-Spec comes with other stuff fun-havers are likely to pick — larger wheels, a more aggressive aero package, and fog lamps. Manual cars also come with Honda’s wonderful helical limited-slip diff.
Annoyingly, the 6-speed appears to only be offered with A-Spec Tech Package, which has a bunch of other features, like safety alerts and premium stereo, that we couldn’t care less about. The non-Tech Package A-Spec would be the ideal trim for the manual option, but Acura isn’t going to play nice here, it seems.
So how does the Integra differ from the Civic Si? Well, for one, it comes in an exclusive 5-door body style. The Civic Si has a traditional trunk, but the Integra’s cargo door incorporates the rear glass, making it more of a hatch. Then there’s the (to our eyes) somewhat sleeker exterior styling, as well as a vastly improved interior design that does away with the Civic’s gimmicky cabin-spanning vents.
What’s less appealing is the way Acura is trying to appear hip by opening a virtual showroom in the metaverse and creating an Integra NFT. The digital token will be given to the first 500 people to reserve an Integra. I am angry that I even had to type these words.
Acura says pricing starts at around $30,000, but that’s almost certainly going to be for the base CVT model. The A-Spec Tech Package 6-speed will likely be quite a bit more, making it a less tempting alternative to the Civic Si. Does Acura really think the Integra name is worth that premium?
Images courtesy of Acura.