Acura Resurrects Integra: 5 Things We Hope to See

five-things-to-know-about-integra Acura Integra | Manufacturer image; illustration by Paul Dolan

Acura’s recent announcement that the Integra nameplate will return in 2022 left a lot of room for speculation. It’s unclear what kind of vehicle the next Integra will be, which gives editors a chance to dream about what it could be.

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High-revving, front-wheel-drive fun was the old Integra’s bread and butter. Will the new Integra follow the same formula? Will it leverage the name recognition while trying to build a new legacy? Will it just be an SUV named Integra? (That’s been the fate of other sporty nameplates.) We certainly don’t know, but here are five things we hope to see.

1. Manual Transmission

Acura hasn’t had a car with a manual transmission since it discontinued the stick-shift ILX for the 2016 model year. As the founders of National Stick Shift Day, we’re not obligated to want a manual in every new vehicle, but we do like ‘em — particularly in cars intended as fun to drive.

The good news is that if Acura does decide to give the new Integra a manual transmission, parent company Honda has some really good ones in its parts bin.

2. Performance Versions

The old Integra came in a rowdy Type R trim and, below that, a still-fun GS-R. And with the new Acura TLX Type S resurrecting the Type S moniker, Acura is clearly not afraid of having a performance variant.

So, please, Acura: No matter what else you do with the Integra, please make a spicy version (or several versions). You’re free to choose the name.

3. How to Get That Performance

Speaking of performance versions, we’re very interested to know just what might power the Integra. The old Intregra’s engine, whether VTEC-enabled or not, was a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine — an increasingly rare power plant in today’s world.

Or, to ask Assistant Managing Editor Kelsey Mays: “The old Integra, an early purveyor of Honda’s innovative variable-lift valve train technology, had plenty of zingy, high-revving fun. But its naturally aspirated engines never displaced much, so that fun didn’t start until well up the tach. Torque was never an emphasis for the Integra — or the Civic on which it was based — but Honda upped its game in the intervening decades with widespread adoption of turbocharged engines. Let’s hope the Integra follows suit.”

Managing Editor Joe Bruzek echoed that.

“I’m OK with that car not being recreated — as they say: been there, done that — but it would be interesting to see some of that character in the new Integra,” Bruzek said. “Perhaps the Integra uses the turbo 2.0-liter — hopefully not a Civic carryover turbo 1.5-liter — with a manual transmission. That would be interesting, because Honda still makes a wonderful manual transmission, and the ILX would differentiate itself from the Civic by using the TLX’s base engine.”

Alternatively, Acura could take a page from the departing NSX performance hybrid, and use some combination of gasoline and electric power.

4. Drivetrain

Toward that end, will the new Integra be FWD like its ancestor? Honda has some wonderful FWD performance cars already in its stable, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, if the Integra happens to be a hybrid (or even if it doesn’t), Bruzek has an idea.

“I also pondered something Civic-sized with mechanical-torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, because Acura does it very well while others fake it,” he said. “That could be a way to make it unique through the current rear-differential method, or perhaps with hybridized, dual rear electric motors.”

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5. Some Throwback Elements

While we’re not expecting the new Integra to be a modern recreation of its predecessor, some nods to history would be nice. Besides great handling and a rev-happy engine, the old Integra had two more things that were (and still are) very good in the eyes of car enthusiasts: excellent paint choices and the Type-R’s stylish rear spoiler. Even the rear spoiler on the RSX Type S, a high-performance version of the coupe that replaced the Integra, looked good.

Honda and Acura haven’t been shy about bringing back classic paint colors, like Championship White and Phoenix Yellow, and it would be nice to see those shades return on the new Integra. As for the wing, it can be difficult to do well. Here’s to hoping Acura still has the talent.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013 and became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera, and to turn his 2021 Hyundai Veloster N into a tribute to the great Renault mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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