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Acura Integra Type S Breaks Cover As A Grown-Up Civic Type R

Love the Honda Civic Type R, but not its overwraught looks? You're in luck, because there is now an alternative. Acura has bestowed upon the Civic-based Integra a sporty new Type S variant, packing Civic Type R performance into a much more mature package.

When we say Civic Type R performance, we mean it, as the numbers between the two Hondas come within inches of each other. Torque is matched at 310 lb-ft, and the power-to-weight ratio is nearly the same as well, but the Acura takes a small hit with 31 extra pounds compared to the Civic. Despite the similarities, Acura still managed to squeeze five more horses out of the CTR's underpinnings with a newly turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine, producing a total of 320 hp. The Civic, meanwhile, makes 315 hp from its non-turbo 2.0 liter four-cylinder at the same 6,500 rpm as the Integra.

The similarities continue through the parts bin, with the sporty Hondas sharing their front-wheel drive layout, adaptive dampers, and four-piston Brembo brakes. And like the Civic Type R, this Integra delivers power to its front wheels the more traditional way, through a six-speed manual transmission.

The differences start to show on the outside, where the Integra exhibits a more restrained approach. That's not to say it doesn't look aggressive at all, but it appears more toned down compared to the Civic Type R, which has gotten a more mature redesign itself. Compared to the standard Integra, the Type S features bulkier fender flares, new 10-spoke wheel designs inspired by the now-departed NSX Type S, a large rear diffuser, mean-looking air intakes on the front fascia, a scooped hood, and a trio of centrally-mounted exhaust pipes. The Type S also adds larger 19-inch wheels that manage to undercut the regular model's 18-inch units by 2 lbs. Those who want a bit more sportiness can order their Integra Type S with an optional carbon fiber rear lip spoiler, as well as a copper finish for the wheels and an illuminated Acura logo up front.

The Integra shares most of its classy dashboard with the latest Civic, and the Type S is no exception. While you'll find the same three-spoke, Ultrasuede-wrapped steering wheel as the one found in the Civic Type R, the Honda's red accents are not featured in the Integra, whether you consider that a good thing or not. The 10.2" digital instrument also comes straight from the CTR, as does the 9-inch infotainment system, though they will feature different graphics. On the other hand, the sports seats are completely new, though they appear to have much smaller bolsters than the Civic's racing-oriented seats.

While some of the Civic Type R's most hardcore features are notably absent from the Integra Type S, this was done on purpose. While the Acura offers similar capabilities to the CTR, it's clearly a more comfortable daily driver with the typical luxuries that premium buyers might expect. Those who want an affordable track beast will still spring for the Civic, knowing that it's a bit sloppier in terms of everyday use.

Standard equipment for the Integra Type S includes a 9-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated seats, a 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D sound system, and the AcuraWatch suite of safety features. Seven exterior colors will be available at launch, including Tiger Eye Pearl, which is specific to the Type S model.

The Integra will officially join Acura's Type S family this June, with a starting price that could surpass the mid-$40,000 mark.

Integra Type S or Civic Type R?

Images: Acura


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