2023 Acura Integra revealed with five doors, unlikely for Australia

2023 Acura Integra A-Spec for sale at www.tjchapmanauto.com
2023 Acura Integra A-Spec for sale at www.tjchapmanauto.com

2023 Acura Integra revealed with five doors, unlikely for Australia

Honda’s legendary Integra nameplate has returned – though rather than a two-door Type R coupe, the new model is a left-hand-drive, five-door liftback for the Acura brand.

Honda’s US-focused luxury brand Acura has revived one of the company’s most iconic nameplates, revealing the 2023 Acura Integra small car – but fans clamouring for a revival of the hallowed Type R coupe and its high-revving naturally-aspirated VTEC engine may be disappointed.

With the exception of the Chinese-market Honda Integra – a rebadged Honda Civic sold through a joint venture – the new Acura Integra resurrects a legendary badge last sold globally in 2006, affixed to the fourth generation of a car used to debut the Acura brand in the US in 1986.

While the reborn Integra is closely related to the latest Civic – much like its predecessor – the new model ditches the four-door sedan and two-door coupe body styles previously available in favour of a five-door liftback shape only, which is likely to prove more popular among buyers.

However, whereas all four generations of the original Integra lineage were sold in Australia, this fifth-generation model is expected to be a left-hand-drive-only vehicle sold under the US and Canada-oriented Acura brand – all but ruling it out for an Australian launch.

The five-door liftback body will provide the new Integra a point of difference from its twin under the skin, the overseas Honda Civic Si – which is only offered as a four-door sedan, with the same engine, mechanical components and key interior parts as the new Integra.

That means there’s a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet, developing identical outputs of 149kW and 260Nm – sent to the front wheels through a CVT automatic as standard or, in the sporty A-Spec, a six-speed manual transmission.

Those outputs represent a 5kW decrease, but 66Nm increase over the Integra Type S sold in Australia in 2006 – though with 100kg of extra weight expected to be on board, the new model is likely to deliver a similar seven-second 0-100km/h time, using the related Civic Si as a guide.

A high-performance Type S variant is expected to follow in the coming years, likely to borrow the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from the next Honda Civic Type R hot hatch – though as Type S sits below Type R in the Honda hierarchy, it remains to be seen if the engine is detuned for use in the halo Integra.

Manual Integra models gain rev matching and a limited-slip front differential, joining a ‘coil-type’ exhaust system for an improved engine sound, paddle shifters for the CVT (despite no actual gears), adaptive dampers, and three to four drive modes, depending on the variant.

While the new Integra might share its mechanicals with the Civic, it wears unique sheetmetal, blending modern Acura’s pentagonal grille, ‘chicane’ LED daytime-running lights and ‘JewelEye’ headlights with nods to older Integra models, including the single-piece tail-lights and embossed ‘INTEGRA’ logos in the bumpers.

Standard-fit are 17-inch alloy wheels, with 18-inch wheels available as a factory option, or 19-inch units as a dealer-fitted accessory.

A sporty A-Spec package is available, which adds gloss black bumper trim and window surrounds, a rear lip spoiler, A-Spec exterior badging, and Shark Grey 18-inch wheels with larger 235/40R18 performance (all-season) tyres.

Despite its unique bodywork, the Integra does share the Civic hatchback’s 2736mm wheelbase, as well as its 1537mm front and 1565mm rear track widths.

Inside, the Integra eschews the Acura-specific cabin seen in the larger Acura TLX and MDX models in favour of a dashboard that’s all but identical to the standard Honda Civic, with a 7.0-inch or 9.0-inch tablet-style touchscreen atop the dashboard, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 10.2-inch digital instrument display in front of the driver has been carried over from flagship Civic hatchback variants, with the gear shifter location, key switchgear, steering wheel design and dashboard shape all plucked straight from the Honda.

However, the 5.3-inch head-up display is exclusive to the Acura, plus an available 16-speaker ELS premium sound system (with two speakers above the front passengers), and unique front seats available with synthetic leather and microsuede upholstery, heating, and 12-way driver and four-way passenger power adjustment.

A suite of active driver-assistance technologies is available, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, and redesigned front airbags designed to cradle the head and reduce the risk of brain injury.

The 2023 Acura Integra will go on sale in the US by the end of May 2022, priced from “around $US30,000” ($AU40,900) for an entry-level CVT model – on par with a flagship US-market Honda Civic Sport Touring hatchback (with a 134kW engine), or $US2700 ($AU3700) more than a Civic Si sedan.

The first 500 US buyers will be able to secure a limited-edition non-fungible token (NFT), a one-of-one digital token said to be a “unique artistic representation of the next-gen Integra.”

An Australian launch has been all but ruled out, as the new Integra is expected to be a North America-only, left-hand-drive vehicle with Acura (rather than Honda) branding.

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