Your first look at the Acura Integra Prototype

This is the Acura Integra Prototype and it exists to basically show you what the production version will look like when it arrives for the 2023 model year. There’s a lot to take in here and we have some strong pluses and a handful of minuses. So let’s kick things off with the good, shall we?

First, it’s great that the nameplate is back. This isn’t some alphanumeric collection of meaningless badging. This is the Integra, and that’s great! And it stays true to the original in that it’s an upmarket Civic done in a four-door style with a rear liftback hatch space. And it gets its power from the upcoming Honda Civic Si too. So under the nose, you’ll find a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This means we should expect around 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque if it’s exactly the same as the Si. More intriguing is the gearbox though as this utilizes a six-speed manual. That will help you take full advantage of an already flat torque curve since the Civic Si promises peak power from 1,800 rpm on up past 5,000 rpm.

As for the styling, we’re going to need to see this one in person to make a full judgment. I understand why Acura went with this yellow paint scheme but I don’t think it does the car any favors. Red or blue might have played better on this one, especially since Acura’s own Long Beach Blue is a gorgeous hue.

A quick and dirty attempt at photoshopping a blue one into existence…

The proportions are tough as well. The long nose look works great on coupes and sporty sedans, but it’s a bit harder when the car section is curved and rolls directly into the rear. It’s the full-on profile that presents the toughest angle. All other angles, however, seem to be strong. But again, we’re going to need to see it in person… and without that lower INTEGRA graphic, which doesn’t really do anything for the car here.

But here’s what we do like; the manual gearbox, turbocharged engine, liftback rear, and the fact that this will be priced to start in the neighborhood of $30k when it lands next year. Let’s see some other colors and a potential Type S or Type R version as well. It’s fun that the Integra is back and we look forward to seeing how it actually drives.

6 Comments

  1. I think the non-metallic colour is doing the car no favours, but if nothing else, a Civic Si hatch with cleaner styling is the car I’ve wanted Honda to build for a long time now (well, that and a Fit Si).

    1. Now…a Fit Si, that is something I can get behind. We had one of those for the better part of a decade, and it was an absolute champ, and a blast to drive. Improving the performance on it would result in a pretty incredible vehicle….

      1. It shouldn’t even take much, a bit of suspension work, and even the basic 170hp 1.5T out of the Civic would be plenty (same engine family, I’m assuming that wouldn’t be an absurd upgrade from the factory). Moot point though, now that North America doesn’t get the Fit.

    2. I think the Si is only available as a three door coupe or a four door sedan. I love five door hatches, so between that and the styling this is a double upgrade!

      I would also love a Fit Si. my Fiesta ST was a riot but I wasn’t sure of its long term durability. I have more faith in Honda tbh.

  2. I agree, the yellow (and I love yellow cars) did the car no favors for the introduction. The contrast between the bright paint and the dark wheels and trim meant that most photos have the body over exposed, washing the contours out. Add in dramatic lighting and wide angle lens and you get a Civic hatch shaped yellow blob with an Acura grille. I’m curious to see it in person.

    But, as you said, this is basically a 5 door Civic Si, which is a very good thing. I’m curious about what transmission choices it will have. The Si is manual only, I’m sure they aren’t planning on having the full Integra line up without an automatic option. The only Civic auto is a CVT, which seems out of character for an Acura.

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