2001 Acura Integra Type R | Review

The saying says “Don’t meet your heroes” but it’s not always correct, as this 2001 Acura Integra Type R so deftly proves. This is the best front-wheel-drive car, ever built.

Acura loaned me a museum-quality Integra Type R for a full week and it’s the most nervous I’ve ever been with a press vehicle.

The engine is a joy to rev into the sky, the shift lever is tight, the suspension is properly stiff, and everything about the Type R just feels perfect. These opportunities are rare, but I enjoy them when they come around… and this one lived up to all the hopes I had for it. The 2001 Acura Integra Type R is a truly excellent and amazing machine.

[Disclaimer: Acura tossed me the keys to this 2001 Integra Type R and included a tank of fuel.]

12 Comments

  1. We can’t trust a word of what you said since they gave you a full tank of fuel. This just proves that it is 100% biased. You are a bunch of hacks now.

  2. I wasn’t aware this was only the classic 1.8 litre…makes me miss simpler times. Beautiful, entertaining sports car. Also, the roads you drive on, Jeff – jealous of those, too. Nice!

  3. EVO magazine in the UK had a legendary FWD group test back in the mid 00s that included what they regarded as the best drivers FWD cars and included the likes of the M100 Lotus Elan, the Renault Clio Williams and 182 Cup and the Peugeot 205 GTI. Much to my suprise, even with the usual biases of UK road testers, the Integra Type R came out on top. High praise indeed.

    1. Wow, see I would guess they’d go with the Renault or the 205. I’d LOVE to try a 205. But still, the UK does love fast Hondas.

      1. Yeah, I’d have thought the same, seeing as much they would go on about either car and while some Hondas are built in swindon (side note – the UK built Accord Type R is the most underrated type R), Japanese stuff doesn’t get the same level of love in the UK as Ireland, at least back then. I mean both the Renault and 205 are wonderful cars and what I thought might have swung things in the French cars favor is that they’re both relatively softly sprung which you’d think would give them the edge on poorly surfaced UK back roads, but the Honda (as it was badged here) still came out on top. It was just a bit more special. I’ve not driven an Integra type R (owned a 205 GTI 1.6, had a go in a Clio 172 but not a williams) but when you look into all the little details Honda put into it, you can sort of see why it beat them.

    2. Poor Acura. They came so close to being a success.

      And then… they replaced the Integra with the RFD. And the Legend with the RKI.

      And now they have the Qnumbernumber, and the Xnumbernumber. And the QXnumbernumber. And the XQnumbernumber. And nobody cares anymore…

  4. Everything you said about this applied to my 2002 RSX Type S only at about 3/4 strength. The biggest knock against the RSX Type S is that it followed the Integra Type R.

    V-TEC cross over was at 6,000, redline at 7,900 and Rev llimiter at 8,300. You had to bounce off the Rev limiter before you shift to keep it in V-TEC after. If you were just cruising and happened to let the revs climb above 4,000 it simply begged for more and it was almost impossible not to oblige. It wanted to run and it put a huge grin on my face every time.

    I one caught a similar vintage Mustang GT at a county road intersection . Traffic cleared and he made his left and nailed it. I did too and stayed dead even with him up to 65 or so. I looked it up after and contemporary reviews put each car at around 6 flat to 60.

    Handling was sharp and the tail would rotate, especially if you lifted. On one occasion I got on it a bit too hard around a corner and it was pushing wide. I lifted for an instant, the nose bit, the tail came around and I nailed it again and we were off, right on course. That trick was 80% the car and 20% driver skill.

    Man, I miss that car.

    The Type R sounds like all that and 50% more. I wish I could drive one someday, but I don’t think I ever will be able to. What a treat for you to get to experience it.

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