2024 Acura Integra Type S Is More Like What We Were Hoping For

2024 Acura Integra Type S Is More Like What We Were Hoping For

What’s the best way for Acura to improve upon its new Integra? Give it more power, better tires, and an upgraded chassis. So we’re pleased that the Integra’s upcoming performance variant, the Type S, takes its powertrain from the delightful new Honda Civic Type R and includes numerous handling upgrades. We drove a prototype of the Type S at Honda’s proving grounds in Tochigi, Japan. Slated to arrive this summer, the new model should offer the 40-plus crowd an alternative to the raucous Type R.

Mechanical details are slim at this point, but we know that the Integra shares the Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, six-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, and front-wheel-drive layout. In the Integra, this engine should at least match, if not exceed, the Civic’s 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

Were you hoping Acura would introduce an all-wheel-drive system or a dual-clutch automatic transmission for quicker acceleration? Tough luck. (But we’ll gladly take the manual, thanks.) Because the base Integra is less expensive and sophisticated than its German entry-lux competitors, the Type S will likely slot in below the Mercedes-AMG CLA35 and the BMW M235i Gran Coupe, for example, in terms of performance and price.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it will be any less fun to drive than its rivals. Our brief experience behind the wheel suggests the Type S treatment goes a long way toward livening up the Integra’s dynamics, which were already lively. The steering is heavier while remaining responsive and precise, and the wider tires lend a planted feel. By the way, those 265-series Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are of the grippy high-performance summer variety (a notable omission on the regular Integra, which is only available with all-season rubber). They will vastly improve skidpad and braking figures and help sharpen turn-in and steering feel too.

We’ll have to wait to drive the Type S on public roads to judge its ride quality next to the firm Type R, but the turbo four in this package impressed us. It revs eagerly, pulls hard to triple-digit speeds, and even makes plenty of character-adding exhaust pops and crackles.

Because this is a Type S and not a Type R, the styling is less extroverted. The Integra lacks the Civic’s giant wing and aggressive-looking vents and scoops, which could be good or bad, depending on your perspective. We like the subtly meaner stance of the Integra Type S, which has larger 19-inch wheels and wider fenders than the standard car, with different front and rear fascias. The interior of the prototype didn’t display any obvious differences, although the front seats have a bit of extra bolstering.

With a dash more sophistication than the Honda, the Integra Type S could prove enticing. If it’s priced within a few thousand dollars of the Civic Type R’s $43,990 base, there should be plenty of interest in this alternative Honda hot hatch. We’re eager to find out more and spend more time behind the wheel when the Integra Type S comes closer to reality.

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