The reveal of the new Acura Integra Prototype last week has generated plenty of criticism from fans and auto journalists. And we have yet to see the interior and get all the specs.
Acura’s prototypes (and Honda’s) are usually pretty close to the future production models they become, so the Integra that will roll off the line in 2022 (as a 2023 model) will look very similar to what you see here.
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Naturally, by reviving a popular name from the past like many other companies have done recently, Acura put most people’s expectations fairly high. On the other hand, you could say that today’s enthusiasts are much more demanding and hard to satisfy. Here are three reasons why some people feel let down by the new Acura Integra, and three reasons why they shouldn’t.
1. Where’s the Coupe?
The Integra is most famously known as a coupe, but Acura’s sporty compact used to be available in other body styles including a five-door model. It didn’t take long for two-door renderings of the new Integra Prototype and other what-ifs to surface on social media, suggesting that many fans were none too happy about the transformation.
The reality: Acura wanted to strike a chord with the Integra moniker, but we were warned well before the reveal that it would be a hatchback-only this time around. The idea was never to create a retro Integra, but rather to appeal to a new generation of drivers. Let’s face it, two-door coupes are a dying breed. Besides, the swooping roofline gives the new Integra a very dynamic profile.
2. It Looks Too Much Like a Civic
The front end including the grille and headlights is typical Acura design, but from several angles the new Integra looks a lot like the eleventh-generation Civic that hit the market earlier this year. Acura claims styling was a top priority, but the result lacks originality.
The reality: The Integra has always had close ties to the Civic. In fact, it used to be sold as a Honda in some countries. The new prototype doesn’t share any sheetmetal with the Civic Sedan or Civic Hatchback. It’s even 1-2 inches longer than the former, which itself is about 5 inches longer than the latter. Translation: this Integra is bigger and unique in its own right.
3. Just a 1.5L Turbo, Really?
Powering the new Acura Integra is a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine. Sounds familiar? That’s because the latest Civic Si uses the same mill. While we don’t have the power, torque and acceleration figures yet, any improvements will be minor. After all, the Civic Si retails from $33,150 and the barely more expensive Integra will be priced “in the mid $30,000s”. At least the latter promises to out-muscle the Acura ILX, whose 2.4-litre engine delivers 201 horsepower.
The reality: Granted, Acura didn’t look far in order to find an engine for the Integra. We should still rejoice that a six-speed manual transmission will be available, something neither the ILX nor the TLX currently offers. And for performance enthusiasts, great things come to those who wait: a more explosive Type S model will most likely follow within a year.
Ultimately, the return of the Integra should be viewed as good news. It’s impossible to please everybody, and some people always seem to want more, but the Acura lineup will definitely be more interesting with this addition. Count us among those who are eager to take it for a spin.