Another properly hot Acura is on the horizon. While not a full-on Type R model, the Integra is getting a Type S trim that borrows its guts from the Honda Civic Type R. What’s more, it will crank out 320 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s more power than the U.S.-spec Honda Civic Type R, but there’s a chance you may never notice from behind the wheel.
How much of a gain is five peak horsepower? If you drive a Peel P50, it’ll feel like getting rear-ended by a city bus. If you drive, I don’t know, a train, it’s effectively a rounding error. In the case of the Integra Type S, it’s somewhere in the middle, working out to 1.6 percent more peak horsepower than the Civic Type R. Ask yourself, would you notice 1.6 percent more cream cheese on your morning bagel, or 1.6 percent more milk in your tea, or 1.6 percent more lint in your bellybutton? Probably not, yeah?
For better context, let’s see what a horsepower increase of 1.6 percent would look like on some popular enthusiast cars. On a 1990 Mazda Miata, that ends up being an extra 1.8 horsepower. On a 2017 Ford Fiesta ST, that would be an extra 3 horsepower. On a new Nissan Z, that works out to an extra 6.35 horsepower. Sure, an extra five peak horsepower sounds great on paper, but it’s not a hugely meaningful boost in performance for this application. However, advertised horsepower might not tell the whole story.
Advertised horsepower is peak horsepower, or the most horsepower an engine can possibly make at a point in its range of operating speeds. However, peak horsepower isn’t the whole story. See, when an engine or vehicle is run on a dynamometer, the dyno spits out a graph of power and torque curves from the start of the pull to redline. While big peak figures are great, everything that happens below the peaks influences what a car’s like to actually drive. The peaky nature of old naturally-aspirated Honda engines is a big part of what made cars like the Integra Type R and Civic Si so much fun. On the other hand, the torque of the outgoing Civic Type R meant that it was very easy to drive around town. Let’s look at Hondata’s dyno results of the new Civic Type R to get a better understanding of how power under the curve can affect an engine’s character.
Wow, that’s a strong result. Keep in mind that power figures vary from dyno to dyno, but curve shapes should be fairly consistent. What we’re seeing here is a strong torque plateau from 2,800 to about 3,500 RPM, with the torque curve then tapering down as it charges up the rev range. Horsepower takes over at 5,252 RPM as always and culminates in a nice plateau to about 6,500 RPM or so. That strong torque curve makes for relaxed low-RPM driving around town and great progress clawing out of tight corners. However, the power curve drops off above 6,500 RPM or so, several hundred RPM shy of redline. This characteristic can make a car feel less urgent in spirited driving. There’s a chance Acura could find extra horsepower in those last few hundred RPM of operating speed range, potentially to the point of making a noticeable difference in the character of the engine (if peak power doesn’t drop as early, that could change how one drives the car) and restoring a little bit of that old-school Honda character.
The point is, a five horsepower (1.6 percent) may not mean a lot, though depending upon the torque curve, it may mean quite a lot. We don’t know.
It’s also worth noting that Acura claims that the Integra Type S has a “class-leading power-to-weight ratio,” although the class in question isn’t specified in the press release. Needless to say, we reached out to Acura for more information on that. Above all else though, even if most drivers won’t notice an extra five peak horsepower, the Integra Type S will be quick and likely fun. It’s going to have plenty of power, be based on the Civic/Civic Type R’s great chassis, feature fat flares and sticky tires, and prompt you to row your own gears through the six-speed manual ‘box. Expect to see the whole Integra Type S next month, right around the time of the Long Beach Grand Prix.
(Photo credits: Acura)
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It’s an interesting dynamic, for sure! To give context, I’ve put about 9000 miles on the 2023 Acura Integra-it’s a complete joy to drive.
I’ve owned a ’98 GS-R for 200k+ miles worth of driving, so I do have an idea how this vehicle performs. The 2023 Acura Integra 6MT is a Modern-Day GSR in every way for me. I have not been disappointed in the least.
I have been quite happy about the new direction of Acura with their design language and general look and feel for their vehicles, so I think this new Integra is sort of a symbol of that commitment to the future that they are positioning.
The 2024 Acura Integra Type S is going to be more validation for this commitment and from what I’ve heard, it is a complete gem to drive. I am personally very curious just how different it will be VS the 2023 because I think the current Teggy already drives very nicely! Pack in 120HP more, and HOLY MOLY!
I’ve never driven a CTR, but it is one of my dreams to do so–everyone who does drives it, says it is nearly a perfect car. The manual transmission is one of the best you can get, and if you’re lucky enough to get one for MSRP, then it’s a true dream. I know Honda has charged a lot more for the current CTR, but they’ve also done a lot of upgrades and the interior leaves hardly any room for improvement, and the infotainment system is truly a track-inspired vehicle with a lot of fun tools for data crunching auto geeks.
The Teggy Type S on the other hand, is going to do exactly what the Integra has always done…borrow what is amazing from the Civic, and just make for a better experience…and this is exactly what I want. I want all the fun of the CTR, but a better daily-street performer with the premium touches to it. I don’t need a track bucket seat, and I would definitely like to take it on the track, but it’ll largely be driven on the roads on the way to work, etc!
Now for the price….the current Civic SI is roughly 28k loaded to the max. The current 2023 Integra 6MT is 38k, add on some additions, you’ll be a tad over 40k.
The CTR is 49k loaded, even with a carbon-fiber wing…so if you’re lucky enough to get one at MSRP, you’re ecstatic. This is a coveted vehicle, and I also don’t understand why more are not made so that more can enjoy it and so all the dealerships don’t feel like they need to charge so heavily on them…but that’s the market for you…
…now if the Integra 6MT is a gussied up Civic SI, then one would say the direct correlation is the CTR to the Integra Type S? I am hoping that is where the correlation stops…because the CTR is **already** a gussied up Civic SI…it’s already a dang nice vehicle. In fact, the CTR is definitely equivalent to the interior trimmings as the 2023 Integra and some even say the 6MT in the CTR is light years better than what the Integra has…so I think we can hopefully agree the current CTR is already freaking amazing…
…SO! I really hope that Honda/Acura just aren’t going to tack on 10k, simply because the Teggy is the gussied up version of the CTR…I think that the CTR is more like what the Integra of old was…a MUCH nicer Civic…and really, the CTR is just that! A MUCH nicer Civic…the Integra is somewhat in a class of its own.
So by that token, I really am hoping that they will take the Integra for what it is currently at 38k, and then for about 7k more, you get the gussied up engine…that puts it at roughly 44k…this is what I think would be reasonable…and it is my hope. You can then add all your accessories to see just how gussied up it can be.
I’ve heard some saying their Acura dealerships are guessing they’ll charge 5k markup with a total of 55k. That means they are expecting the Teggy S to be 50k MSRP…I really hope this is wrong because as @Nsane In The MembraNe, already stated, there are a TON of other cars that are pretty freakin’ sweet in that price range…
…then again, the Integra Type S is gonna be a pretty freakin’ sweet car. I do think it really could be tough competition for even the TLX Type S, and if that’s the case, they don’t want it cannibalizing their higher-end cars…so they gotta, just GOTTA have the pricing be far enough away from the TLX Type S so that you have a purpose for buying the Integra VS a TLX…the Integra is the gateway car, so the TLX Type S really should be an upgraded experience if you were to want something more.
So it is my theory, hope, and prediction, that the pricing will not be as aggressive as what some are saying…if dealers are charging 55k total, then tack on taxes, that is 60k Out The Door, and that is quite an interesting proposition, indeed!
I really hope to be pleasantly surprised, although I do know it’ll be more than the current 2023 Acura Integra, I don’t think the comparison is such that an Integra is simply a “dressed up Civic”, but really, a premium performance vehicle that borrows from the CTR, and just makes it its own. Imagine if they upgraded the CTR, what would that look like? It already has an amazing Enginer, the seats could be made leather and more premium, maybe some carbon fiber trimmings, but aside from that, the sheeting to make the car, the paint, the stereo, etc., I don’t think these things should really warrant tacking on 10k more…at any rate…prove me right, Acura! Pretty please!
the non-type-S Integra should’ve gotten the 250 hp turbo the Accord used to have. Possibly the Civic Si should’ve gotten it, too.
“How much of a gain is five peak horsepower? If you drive a Peel P50…”
I’m still carefully evaluating the amount of work it’ll take to remove and reinstall the body of my HMV Freeway in order to replace its 12hp Tecumseh with a 16hp Tecumseh, so yes, at the low end of things a single-digit gain is significant.
Do keep us posted
The 2014 to 2015 Viper also added 5 hp, for a whopping 0.78% power bump.
I’ve said it and I’ll keep saying it-this car will not be competitive in the class Honda is trying to compete in and their approach to fun cars is ridiculously cynical. Don’t get me wrong-their core audience is as die hard as it gets and will continue to line up around the block to stretch themselves financially paying $70,000 or whatever for a CTR. They can count on that crowd for eternity.
But they’re already charging goddamn $45,000 sticker for a CTR, which is ridiculous enough as is. If we look at the SI/base Integra price delta we’re talking 5-10 grand depending on equipment. So we’re likely looking at $50-$55,000 for this when all is said and done. What luxury buyer in their right mind is going to pay that much for a goddamn Civic that’s front wheel drive and manual only?
You’re within spitting distance of the M340i, S4/S5, RS3, C43, etc. at this point. All of those badges are more prestigious, all are faster, all offer all wheel drive, and all have good automatics. Hell, there’s going to be a TLX Type S in the same showroom that also offers those things in a better looking package with an extra 2 cylinders.
But NSane, MUH MANUAL!!!! Listen, I get it. But you’re also within striking distance of a CT4V BW at this point as well…and if you’ll consider non 4 doors this is Mustang Mach 1, Supra manual, SS 1LE or even ZL1 Camaro, Scat Pack, loaded Z, etc. money too. All of those have sticks and all of them offer more performance than this will.
Honda is truly high on their own supply if they think putting a nicer badge on the CTR then charging 10-15% more for it with no other changes is going to work. Hooners will line up to buy CTRs at over sticker on 84 month loans at 11% APR, but you’re not just competing with them at this point. You’re competing with buyers that expect a lot more.
I can’t get over how dumb some of this is. I also keep seeing articles about the PMC edition TLX Type S’s they’re selling for like $65,000 because they have cool paint and are made in a factory that Honda fanboys obsess over. Honda is literally saying WHATEVER IDIOT YOU’LL BUY IT with so much of this stuff. It’s cynical and lazy.
Seems like the Golf R/Audi S3 playbook, although at least there you get a less useful body style for your $10K extra lol.
But Honda does have a habit of aiming high; NSX 2.0 was priced to compete with some cars that totally outclassed it as well.
I mean…but you also get all wheel drive, one of the better DCTs in the game, and a starting price for both around where the CTR starts already. Plus a badge that has some weight outside of Honda fanatics. I mean if you absolutely have to have a manual then I guess this makes sense but a well equipped S3 will be equivalent cost wise to this and is a better performer in pretty much all the daily categories, plus all wheel drive.
This will probably still lap faster on more technical circuits but how many people are going to be tracking their Acura? I guess I just don’t get who this is for. It’s a hyper competitive segment and this is at a disadvantage in pretty much every way other than reliability and having a manual. “It has a stick shift!” can be the rallying cry for these Japanese compacts in the 30-45 or so range but once you’re in the 50-60 one it’s a very different ballgame.
They would have done well to differentiate this more from the CTR is more or less what I’m getting at in an excessively long winded way lol.
Oh, I just meant Integra is to CTR as S3 is to Golf R.
Honda isn’t the only one cynically charging $45K for a hopped up economy hatchback and $55K for a luxury branded version of the same.
I think they are all silly to be honest. My opinion is: assuming equal prices, buying a base model of a higher class of car is a much more rewarding experience than buying the fanciest, sportiest version of something that was ultimately engineered to be cheap.
Obviously I’m a lover of all things hot hatch/performance compact and the making a regular car fast but keeping the regular car usefulness ethos. Clearly a lot of folks agree with me here as well, as the glories of the hot hatch have been championed by car journalists and enthusiasts alike for decades at this point. (Also my Kona N is a hot hatchback-calling it a CUV is ridiculous marketing nonsense)
…but these $40-50,000 ones have lost that plot for me entirely. Not only are they now becoming out of reach for average Janes and Joes, but they’re now also punching in a weight class where you’re getting into serious track weapons as well as dedicated luxury platforms. Those cars will be significantly more refined…and what even is the point of making a refined performance compact in the first place? You’re already losing the plot…these cars are supposed to be rough around the edges. It’s part of the charm.
Which is where I agree with you thoroughly-if I’m dropping 50 grand on a car with a luxury badge I’m going to do so on one that’s on a dedicated luxury platform rather than a gussied up econobox. This is where cars like the M340i (legit luxury platform, RWD architecture) really start to pull away for me. Honda’s own TLX Type S does as well…which is a dedicated, Acura-only platform. And it may be FWD biased but that SH-AWD system is incredible enough that it probably doesn’t matter.
As you say, you can make a Civic as nice as humanly possible but you’re never going to remove its economy car roots. If I were spending this much on a car I’d either go with one of the legitimate weapons (probably an SS 1LE) or one of the dedicated luxury platforms.
OR…save up a little more money and have my cake and eat it too with a CT4V BW. Don’t get me wrong-I like the CTR (this gen at least, the last one was so over designed I couldn’t take it seriously) but Honda is really, really pushing their luck here.
Have no interest in luxury badges—I generally find them repellant, especially if they come from Germany—but completely agree that these prices are nuts. The CTR is $50k for a $25k car’s quality and some extra power (I’m sure it’s a much better drive than that sounds, but that’s still the essence of what it is) and the Integra is maybe a little better quality, but I can’t imagine it’s a dramatic difference (then again, I could be wrong as I briefly had a Camry and an ex has a same-generation Lexus ES before they were based on the Avalon and the difference in quality was night and day).
I had a Focus ST I paid $23k for new, which was an absolute steal and even at the $27k sticker was worth it, but then there was the RS at double that for a worse ride, terrible mileage, and what a lot of people said was faster, but ultimately less entertaining driving experience. Not only that, but it’s built to the same level of quality as to be profitable in the base model that started in the teens. OK, some nicer seats and a couple bucks of fancier fabric, but BFD. It’s the same thing here. I think the Si is a little weak (should have the Accord 2.0T), but it’s the much better deal than the CTR excluding markups. OK, the Integra is a little nicer quality than the Civic, but it’s still based on the Civic and it’s certainly not peer luxury in the $50k realm.
These are/are based on every day drivers, so they’re inherently compromised for that use and, as daily drivers, they’ll spend most of their time in situations where the extreme suspensions and excess power is going to grow tiresome, wear out sooner, and not be useable. As potential collectibles, there are far better cars to sit on and stare at or, historically, the stock market or real estate are better investments. For the guys with the need to belong and to impress dudes at car shows (very few women are going to GAF), that will only sort of last as long as it takes for there to be several others at the show unless one wants to waste even more money slapping mods on that will impress a smaller pool while turning off others. For track use, there are much better new options (and I feel used cars should be taken into account for comparison in this category as warranties won’t matter anymore), some of them even cheaper to buy and run. I love an enjoyable, practical daily driver and I appreciate that these cars are being built, but they’ve gotten so expensive on the high end even without markups that I don’t see the value.
Why do you think a Golf R has a less useful body style than a Type R (or was it an Integra?)? And both the Golf R and the S3 are priced at less than the average price of a new car in the US and, for my money, they are far better than average cars.
No one is understanding my comment so I guess I didn’t explain what I meant very well.
Nsane laments an Integra costing $5-10K more than a CTR that it’s very similar to.
I try to respond that an Audi S3 also costs $5-10K more than a Golf R that it’s very similar to, and comes only as a less useful sedan for good measure.
All of them may be better than whatever the “average car” is, but he and I both question whether they are better than competitors available around the same price.
But the major selling point is that it’s only available with one transmission: a six speed manual. That should make up for that 1.6% power increase.