The current Acura Integra is a car with something to prove. Upon launch, it was showered in vitriol, largely because it’s essentially a more expensive Civic Si. Then Acura dropped the Type S variant with Civic Type R power and some people started to change their tune. Now, another variant should help sway people even more: Acura is once again taking a hot Integra racing. Welcome to the 2024 Acura Integra Type S DE5, a stripped-down, hopped-up liftback poised to do battle against some of North America’s fiercest touring cars.
Every Integra Type S DE5 starts with a body-in-white without all the noise attenuation measures you’d find on the road car. On the racetrack, soundproofing just adds weight, and sprayable seam sealer on flat underbody panels for chip resistance isn’t really necessary either. Then, Honda Performance Development adds the requisite roll cage, fire system, seat, and harness.
Power comes from a modified K20C8 two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumping out 360 horsepower and managed by a Motec M1 ECU. All that potency is harnessed by a six-speed Quaife sequential transaxle, which sends torque through a Cusco limited-slip differential exclusively to the front tires. Unusually, the DE5 still uses the street car’s clutch and flywheel, but it’s not surprising at all to hear that the race car’s cooling package has been substantially modified. A new radiator, new oil cooler, new intercooler, and extra ducting should keep this competition-bred Integra happy for full race stints.
When it comes time to drop the anchors, braking is provided by AP Racing six-piston front calipers teamed with factory stock rear calipers and Pagid pads. Stainless braided hoses and application-specific brake cooling ducts should ward off fade, while Continental RSX ABS should reduce code brown moments.
Suspension is another critical area where race cars drastically differ from their roadgoing counterparts, and the Integra is no exception. It rides on HPD’s own two-way adjustable dampers fitted with Eibach springs and HPD front camber plates. Every suspension arm has been equipped with spherical bushings, and the rear camber and toe arms are adjustable items made by SPC and RV6 respectively. There’s nothing hugely drastic here, but everything is proven and should enhance performance without compromising reliability. After all, to finish first, first you must finish.
Speaking of actually racing, the Integra Type S DE5 aims to compete in SRO TCX, a currently small class represented in America in the SRO TC America Championship, where car selection currently consists of the BMW M2 CS Cup and the Honda Civic Type R TCX. Those cars sound as different as lederhosen and cat ears, but balance of performance is in effect so the racing is very close. A fresh front-wheel-drive car to dice it up with the Bimmers should be a welcome edition, and it looks to be happening. As for Canada, SRO TCX is represented up there in the Sports Car Championship Canada series. According to HPD, approval in that latter series hasn’t been granted yet, but the process is underway. Pre-orders for this track-only Integra are open until Sept. 26, so let’s cross our fingers that the Acura Integra Type S DE5 gets approved to race all across North America in 2024.
(Photo credits: Acura)
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