- Rendering of the 2023 Acura Integra.

Opinion: Should Acura Bring Back The Integra Type R?

The last production year of the Integra Type R is 2001. With the Integra coming back next year, should the Type R be in the model line-up?

6d ago

The late 1990s in North America is a time where imported Japanese tuner cars started to take a strong presence among young people. The Acura Integra Type R is one of those cars. Produced from 1997 to 2001, the Integra short-lived production duration saw suitable sales figures with 228,000 units sold according to Acura. Of the 228,000, 3,800+ units were sport-tuned and track-focused according to MotorTrend.

2001 Acura Integra Type R.

2001 Acura Integra Type R.

However, with the Integra's return to North American markets in late 2022, should the Type R be brought back? The previous Type R saw limited import success compared to the Honda Civic Type R which was cheaper than the Acura for similar performance and styling. Although the Integra's limited production meant it did not have commonality to the Civic and therefore made Acura's Type R genuinely more attractive to car enthusiasts.

Should the Acura Integra Type R return? Well, I think it can, successfully, so long as certain criteria are met before it arrives in North America next year.

Performance - Where It All Begins.

Power in a sports car is the predominant feature of what makes the Type R a Type R. The 2001 Type R came with a 1.8-litre inline-four VTEC engine. Producing 195 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. In 2001, these figures were adequate but nothing special.

If a new Type R were to surface, what would a sufficient amount of power be? What engine should be used? Acura likely would not create a new motor but that is what the new Type R needs to stand out. The old days where the Integra Type R is essentially a Honda Civic Type R with an Acura badge are over. If Acura is to succeed with a performance model Integra, newer more powerful engine options are required to suffice the trim level.

Style - Luxury In Brand Image.

Honda NSX Interior (Branded as Acura NSX in North America).

Honda NSX Interior (Branded as Acura NSX in North America).

Interior styling is in the essence an essential feature of the design of any vehicle. Quality and appropriate selection of materials is a proper start to consumer attraction. Take the Honda NSX's interior for example. The craftsmanship and quality in the selection of aluminum, carbon fibre, leather, and suede make the NSX's interior a quality feature of the vehicle and leave you with a refined presence as you perform laps of the track or take it on a grand tour. While a new Integra Type R does not need to be of the exact same quality as its competitors, proper attention to detail in materials selected and overall design are necessary for consumer satisfaction.

Technology - Where it all matters.

2022 Honda Pilot Infotainment System.

2022 Honda Pilot Infotainment System.

As the world's automobiles continue to modernize, the use of technology in vehicles is becoming a more prevalent anomaly in consumer comparison when purchasing a new vehicle. Track-oriented controls like those found on the Honda NSX may find a new home with the Integra Type R. However, features such as self-driving capabilities seem rather unnecessary on a performance-oriented vehicle.

Should Acura bring back the Type R?

In short, yes. The market for Japanese sports cars has grown immensely in the past 20 years since the Integra Type R was put out of production. However, to bring back the Type R it needs to stand out. It simply can not be a copy and paste of the Honda Civic Type R. It needs to be different in style, character, and performance. If Acura is to be the luxury division of Honda, then the Integra Type R has to embody that brand image through a complete redesign. If Acura is able to follow a similar line of parameters discussed in this article, only then could the Type R's revival be properly executed.

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Comments (4)

  • The current Integra is a bit of a disappointment in my eyes… so I’d be concerned to see what they do to AJ “Integra Type R.”

      6 days ago
    • Yes, certainly some major improvements are needed to make the Type R worth bringing back.

        6 days ago
  • Yes, Acura needs an entry level vehicle to attract young buyers to the brand. My 86 Integra was great.

      6 days ago
  • no, BUT they should make a type s

    honda so far is only using the type r badge on hondas only

      5 days ago