If you haven’t heard, a new Acura Integra is coming! Acura notes that the “fifth-generation Integra will be a premium sport compact with a striking five-door design”. So, what should we expect? We are big fans of the original Integra here at the ‘Verse, with reviews of the amazing Type R, plus tons of content on Kamil’s GSR. But what will the next generation of the Integra bring us? Let’s look through some clues, plus some selfish “here’s what I want” fun. This should probably just be called “what I want to see for the 2021 Acura Integra”.
The image above shows some classic Integra hotness, the inset “INTEGRA” name under the headlight. We can all agree, that’s enough to get your blood pumping. But, there’s more. We also have an coupe-like silhouette that was put out as a teaser. Both are showing what is clearly a “sportback”-style rear end. Here’s where the speculation begins.
I overlaid the silhouette to my favorite sportback, the A5/S5/RS5 from Audi. As you can see, it’s not too far off. If the Integra is shaped like a sportback Audi, I’ll be one step closer to desperately wanting it. Next, we have the image recently released showing a rounded sloping Integra rear end. Let’s see how that matches up to what will likely be the Integra’s platform-mate, once again – the next 11th gen Civic.
Now, here is where the optimism starts, I hope Honda is literally taking the next generation Type R and building the Integra from it. Thus the picture alignment I crafted quickly below.
As you can see, it’s not far off. The Integra sports a slightly different taillight style, a bit more Acura-like, which make sense. However, the rear glass and the portion of the passenger compartment that we can see lines up very well, if you look past the camo. I know, it likely matches the regular ole Civic as well, don’t rain on my parade.
Actually, fine, here. You can see that the area from the C-pillar back towards the taillights looks a bit different, but not dramatically. I’m excited to see the final product.
The Integra will have the latest Acura interior, which isn’t a bad thing. The most recently updated vehicle is the MDX, which I drove not too long ago. See above, it’ll look sorta like that. Any interior that’s a bit nicer than the Type R’s is good with me, so let’s move on.
Appearance will matter, but the real beauty of the last Integra was how it drove. So, while basing it on the new Civic is almost guaranteed, as it will replace the aging ILX, but I really hope that the Integra is fully mechanically based on the Civic Type R (CTR). I’ve spent a lot of time in the current Type R, and it’s one of the best cars I’ve ever driven. After my first drive at a press event, I was impressed, but not sold. That changed after I spent my first week in one. I’ve had the CTR again for another press loan and it continued to impress and wiggle it’s way into my psyche. Even if I never really got on board with how it looks.
The latest Type R is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged engine with 306 horsepower and 295 ft.lb. sitting at the front end of probably the best front-drive platform available anywhere. At least in our country anyway. We have to assume that the next generation Type R will be even better, and it’s clearly a bit more subdued from a styling perspective. All good things.
But what if they save that engine for a Type S or better version? Well, Honda, please don’t have the Integra just show up with the 180 horsepower engine from the current EX and Touring trim as standard. Ideally, the base Integra will be powered by something a bit more potent, perhaps the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder from the 10th generation Civic Si. With 205 horsepower, it was mated to a six-speed manual and drove the front wheels through a limited-slip differential. It’s still quite a car, and would make for a decent base model Integra engine option to keep pricing down. More on that in a bit.
However, it’s all about chassis tuning, and Honda is one of the best. I just spent a good amount of time in a new TLX Type S with the performance tires (Pirelli P-Zeros) and it’s one of the most fun cars I’ve ever driven. Another journalist and I hooned it through a very twisty section of road during a press rally, and we just literally couldn’t get it to unstick. It scrambled through the turns like few cars I’ve ever drive. Which brings the potential for a Super-Handling AWD version of the Integra. That’s less likely since there is no AWD ILX or Civic, so it would be fully new development. Regardless of FWD and/or AWD, the Integra needs to handle like it was built from the Honda parts bin.
The rest of the parts bin will hopefully include a great set of Brembo brakes and lots of other goodies that the Integra could and should have as standard or optional.
I realize that some of this is wishful thinking, as the real likelihood is a $35,000 (or less) base Integra, which rules out a fully Type-R based Integra. That version will likely be followed (hopefully at launch) by a roughly $45,000 (or less) Type S version. Fingers crossed that we actually get get an Integra Type R at some point as that would be bananas.
So, the Integra pricing will once again have something to do with Civic pricing. The highest trim Civic on the market as of this writing is the $28,500 Touring model, while the current ILX starts at $26,500, so we can assume that an Integra will start from there and go up, giving a base $35,000 (or less) theory some validity. A maxed out A-Spec Tech Package ILX starts at $32,400 for reference.
Also, importantly for reference, the Civic Type R starts at $37,895, so a Type R based version of the Integra would easily crest $40,000 or more. Let’s hope it stays under $50,000.
Yes, I’ll Buy One
This is where most people on social media go “bro, the person who isn’t going to buy one is sitting here dictating what it should be?” Well, in this case, I’m all in. Give me a Type R-based Integra closer to $40,000 than $50,000 and I’ll plunk down a deposit! Have a manual transmission available and I’ll pee a little. Whether I tick that box is hard to say, the 10-speed sequential box in the TLX is quite good, so we’ll see.
And yes, I think the pricing is plausible, as the TLX doesn’t crest $50,000 until you get the Type S.