When the reborn Acura Integra debuted, the internet gave it a little bit of vitriol. It’s not a coupe, there’s no really hot option, and the cheapest manual models costs a whopping $37,495. While Acura doesn’t seem inclined to slash pricing or build a coupe variant, a hot version is on its way. Say hello to the 2024 Acura Integra Type S.
To create the Type S, Acura basically took the Honda Civic Type R’s guts and shoved them into something nicer. See, the Type R is a hot hatch apex predator that had to fit in an almost reasonable price bracket, so some of the livability things you’d expect for north of $40,000 were omitted. For instance, you can’t get heated seats in a Civic Type R, nor is the upholstery anything special. The stereo is a Bose unit, which means it’s nothing truly special. Oh, and those wanting a heads-up display will be disappointed. However, the Integra Type S fixes all of those luxury gaps. The front seats are heated and upholstered in ultrasuede, the sound system is a 16-speaker ELS-branded Panasonic-built job, there’s a heads-up display in the dashboard, and color choice appears to be decent inside and out.
Speaking of exterior views, the Integra Type S almost looks mature. I say almost because it still has touring car-style overfenders the size of Weber barbecue lids, but there’s no massive wing here, nor flashy red marque emblems. A casual glance suggests that it’s just a normal small car, but a closer look at the details reveals certain gravitas. The hood vent is functional, as are the three poo chutes set in a coffee table-sized slab of black plastic on the rear bumper. The brake calipers are redder than a political commentator’s face, and the discs are the size of dinner plates. Yep, this thing’s all business.
Motivation comes from a two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 320 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 310 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,600 rpm all the way to 4,000. Unsurprisingly, the only option for getting that power to the front wheels is a six-speed manual transaxle with a limited-slip differential, so anyone wishing for two-pedal convenience should just save a bunch of money and go with a Hyundai Elantra N. Harnessing all that power is the same sort of dual-axis McPherson strut front suspension you’d find in a Civic Type R, adaptive dampers, and 265/30R19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires wrapped around a fresh new set of 19-inch wheels. In case this all sounds more Type R than Type S, Acura claims that the suspension on this Integra has been tuned more for the street. Oh, and despite the extra creature comforts and 5.1-inch-longer body, the Integra Type S weighs just 31 pounds more than a Civic Type R. I’d call that a fair trade.
So, the 2024 Acura Integra Type S is slightly better-equipped than a Civic Type R, slightly more powerful than a Civic Type R, and if you live in North America, you can make the argument that it could be slightly greener than the Civic Type R as well. See, the production process for the Honda Civic Type R is rather annoying. Turbocharged K20 four-cylinder engines are built in Anna, Ohio, then shipped all the way to Japan to be married with Type R bodies. For Americans, engines are then shipped back across the Pacific with entire cars attached before going on sale. Meanwhile, the same engines travel about 50 miles to mate with Integra Type S bodies in Marysville, Ohio. I haven’t crunched any hard numbers but that seems like a lot less shipping to build a car.
Now we get to the worrying part – Acura hasn’t announced a price for the Integra Type S but judging by the Civic Type R and the premium a regular Integra commands over a regular Civic Si, it’s going to be expensive. I’d be shocked if it’s cheaper than the $44,390 Honda commands for a Civic Type R. That being said, the similarly-powerful Audi S3 starts at $47,895 and doesn’t seem nearly as serious as this Acura. Expect to learn where this hot Acura falls on the pricing scale closer to its on-sale date in June. While the Integra Type S isn’t for everyone, it seems to offer explosive performance in an “if you know, you know” package. Now that’s more like it.
(Photo credits: Acura)
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