WTF Acura/Honda! The New Acura Integra

We love the old DC2 Integra, we have one as a project car, and it’s a blast to drive on the street and on the track.  With its high revving VTEC B18C engine and manual transmission, it’s a light and nimble car that is very engaging for the driver.  It was the car that made the Acura brand.  Young people would buy Integras then buy the Legend or the NSX they grew in income and or family size.  The Integra was instrumental in making Acura customers for life and establishing brand loyalty. The whole Acura brand was about fresh, sporty, affordable neo luxury, the brand had status and people wanted to buy the cars.

Then Acura/Honda lost their way, Acura started to produce decontented nondescript sedans with boring names, heck we can’t even remember the names of any of them.  Their old customer base started to aspire and purchase cars like BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. In fact, in many discussions with all sorts of people of many demographics, no one even wants an Acura anymore when talking about new car purchase intent.  No one can even recall the name of any Acura model.  Growing up we used to know families that had 3 generations of loyal Honda and Acura cars, they simply would not look anywhere else!  Nowadays that never happens.

We were stoked when we heard the NSX was going to be re-issued. If Acura even had a clue, they would have built on the car’s DNA and made a lightweight, mid-engined driver’s car powered by a 600 hp NA high revving 5 liter V10, a tribute to the brand’s F1 heritage.  Something along the lines of the Porsche GT3 except it would smoke the GT3 for around the same price.  Honda/Acura could have engineered this with ease.  If they bothered to clinic the car, they would have known this is what the NSX buyer wanted.

Instead, they made an expensive, bloated, heavy, packed with tech and gadgets and electronic drivers aids, V6 Turbo hybrid.  It was expensive, not any faster and slower in some ways than the cheaper Nissan GT-R, and had little appeal to the fans of the NSX.  We know so many people who were ready to buy the new NSX but were let down and disappointed. Seriously, they all went out and bought a GT3 instead. The NSX sold awfully and the used prices are pretty low so they are a bargain on the secondary market.

When we heard that Acura was going to bring back the Integra, we were very excited and so was nearly every car enthusiast we knew! Acura was releasing teaser photos of parts of the car that promised good looks.  Many sources were showing proposed renderings using the teaser photos to show what the car might look like.

We saw and were drooling over renderings like this.  We wanted a compact, lightweight, nimble coupe with a high revving naturally aspirated I-4 like a K24 with a manual transmission and good suspension and brakes.

A car like this would sell like hotcakes and fill a void in the market.  A 3 door hatch would be awesome.  We knew that the DC2 can swallow a lot of stuff, like 3 mountain bikes, 3 people, and all their gear.  A tight fit but it would still fit. The back seats of the DC2 were not that bad either considering. All of this utility in a small good looking sporty coupe.  Look at these renderings Acura Product Planning people.  This is what the market wanted!

Spy shots of potentially nice-looking disguised coupe mules being test-driven on the streets by Honda engineers fueled the fire for perhaps the most anticipated new car in a long time.  Do these disguised mules look like the renderings?


  1. Oh my goodness people, let’s give it a chance at least! So much negativity in the car community anymore…. Just because it doesn’t look like a modern take on a 3rd gen Integra type-R, doesn’t mean it can’t be an affordable and fun car to drive – that’s what the Integra always was. A fun, cheap, economy car. I seem to remember that there were always 4dr Integra’s too.

    Sure there were a couple special trims like the type-R, but that wasn’t the entirety of the Integra. We idolize the higher trims of the old models from our youth and hold them in higher regards than Ferraris, failing to recognize that they there were still compact economy cars and hot hatches. Even though we love the old Integra, it isn’t fair to hate the new one before driving it because it’s not an STi killer.

    I’m a Honda fan myself, and love the 2dr Integra’s, but let’s realize that new 2dr cars are going away, they don’t sell. Manuals are rare now, a lot of cars in general are going away. The eclipse is now an SUV, the Corolla is getting a crossover… Let’s try to be positive, and gracious that Acura is even attempting the Integra, with a manual available that is still a car and not an SUV. Probably fun to drive and a turbo 1.5 can give plenty of kick for… an economy car.

    1. you have the audacity to call yourself a Honda fan 2 paragraphs after uttering “give it a chance”? No, don’t give it a chance! Let Honda/Acura know that a name means something. If they’re gonna call a car an Integra, give us something that at least vaguely lives up to the name.

      This isn’t Acura “attempting” an Integra, this is “hey lets build a crappy parts bin special and give it a name with history and built it up with a nostalgia driven advertising campaign to try and get sales”. If you’re gonna try and play the nostalgia card you gotta make the car at least vaguely relatable to the past cars.

      1. This! “hey lets build a crappy parts bin special and give it a name with history and built it up with a nostalgia driven advertising campaign to try and get sales”

  2. Japanese automakers on a whole have given up. Toyota threw in the towel (Yaris GR aside) with their engines, farming it out to Subaru or BMW. Nissan/Infiniti are only interested in the Leaf and the GTR, the Q50 got a 2nd gen Cube 0 feedback steering rack and the new Z….well I’ll just disappointingly gesture at the whole car. Hell Nissan waited 15 years to redesign the Frontier for the US market, they had the NP300 body styling released internationally for a few years now, which is MILES more attractive and would have set them apart from the crowd, but they chose to release a Colorado/Tacoma photocopy. It seems if you want a decent sports car you have to go American or German now.

  3. I know people are complaining about “coupe”…but I’m old enough to remember the earlier Integra having 4 doors.

    Also…as much as we’d like it…not every new car will be some type of throwback model. I think sometimes you need to temper expectations.

    It’s still possible Honda can redeem themselves with some sort of Integra R….

  4. Man, there are at least 3 of us who actually like the car. It could have been a ZDX crossover like the Eclipse or Mustang Mach-E.

    The Civic coupe of recent years sold so well that its now extinct. A higher trim level with the 2.0 turbo motor will suit me just fine.

  5. Being a rebadged, even larger Civic Hatchback is one thing, but the severe lack of interesting tech is another. Honda used to be rather innovative, but this doesn’t even make use of stuff they first brought to market in the 80s and 90s, and has nothing new or cool at all.
    No torque vectoring diff, no 4-wheel steering, no interesting hybrid tech, no “Advanced VTEC”, no fancy suspension, nothing different on the interior, really nothing that invites a second look, at all.
    Just another lame econobox with no identity, because all Acuras need to look the same for muh brand awareness, it can’t cost anything to make, and corporate would really rather just make another SUV instead.

  6. I totally agree with this article. Only automotive enthusiast would care if the Integra name was resurrected. If The Integra name was used, the vehicle would have to be a light weight 2 door hatchback with a NA K24A2 engine and 6 speed transmission with LSD. The type S would have the CTR drive train… No enthusiast wants an overweight Crosstour sedan hunchback! The renderings from designer Jordan Rubinstein-Towler are the ones every automotive enthusiast wants ( you showed two renderings but never credited him). Acura/ Honda could easily offset the costs for a 2 door hatchback If they used the previous two door Civic coupe OR if they designed it with upcoming HRV chassis to share cost/ parts…
    The design team and top Management at Acura are morally bankrupt because they mislead all of the automotive enthusiasts!!

  7. Wait a minute, Acura actually have a coupe prototype running around on public roads? And here I thought those coupe renderings were just created for fun with no basis to reality. Honda became quite brain damaged ever since the start of the 21st century though, so blatantly obvious bad decisions by them aren’t exactly new news. IMO I’d just go and buy the new 2nd gen BRZ/GR86 if you’re not biased towards or against any particular car manufacturer. European market has pretty much given up on Hondas, same goes for Australia, but the best one is back in Japan Suzuki sold more car than Honda did in 2021, yeah even the Japanese have gradually given up on their near and dear Honda.

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