In a studio near LAX Acura unveiled the new Integra Prototype. In the ’80s and ’90s, the Integra was a small hot rod that the young embraced. Many will recall the Type R, a two-door coupe that had fantastic handling and the best gearbox of the time. Twenty years later, the name is back, but this time is a four-door with a hatchback. This car is based on the Honda Civic SI ( a very good car), and a 1.5 Liter turbocharged four-cylinder powers it. The mechanical details we don’t know yet, but digging a bit, we know that it will have a six-speed manual transmission, around 200 HP, and supposedly superior handling for the class.
The car I saw was painted the same yellow color as the last edition in North America in 2006. Other than the yellow tailpipes and a black side stripe, the car looks ready for the dealership. Since the event was the launch of a “prototype,” I expected something a bit wilder. Acura executives assure me that if the car had remained in production, I saw the logical progression to today’s wants and needs. I did ask several attendees and their feelings were mixed. Some still wanted a two door car.
In-display, there were a great group of cars that covered all the models from 1986 to 2006. Race cars and street modified versions filled the space, which was lively thanks to a DJ and an open bar. Being an Acura, I am sure it will sell well. The $30,000 price mentioned off the record will make it the lowest price Acura in their model line. This pricing will attract young people to the brand. That is the strategy of Acura. I will anxiously wait since I am old enough to have driven and raced the nineties Type R. That 200+ hp front wheel drive car was something special at speed, and the new one has big shoes to fill.