2023 Acura Integra: Everything We Know About the Compact Sporty Car
It’s not a typical year when you can say that Friday the 13th offered a delightful surprise for car enthusiasts, but that’s exactly what happened on August 13, 2021. Acura, in a surprise announcement years in the making, revealed its iconic Integra compact sports car would return for 2023. A drone display outlined an ambiguous shape in the California sky, and a single teaser image and video showed a very modern Acura headlight and taillight with a classic “INTEGRA” embossing below.
Here’s what we know about the 2023 Acura Integra at this juncture.
2023 Acura Integra: Five-Door Liftback Sedan
The biggest question on our minds when the announcement was made would be how many doors the Integra would sport. Remember, for much of its life, the Integra was available in both two- and four-door flavors. We asked Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda, point blank, if the new Integra will feature either arrangement (or both), and he offered a cryptic “maybe” in return.
Since then, however, a video teaser has been shown to confirm that the 2023 Acura Integra will indeed be a five-door liftback when it debuts, reminiscent of the third generation DB6 Integra. What we have also seen is that it will have a B-pillar, unlike the beloved third-generation, but it will be blacked out on the prototype, similar to the 11th generation Honda Civic.
Another piece of the puzzle is that the ILX compact sedan is on the ninth-generation Civic and is due to soldier on a little longer. That said, with the 11th-generation Honda Civic running around, the ILX can’t be too long for this world. Ikeda insisted the Integra is not an ILX replacement, and that the Integra will be the brand’s entry-level vehicle. This could mean the Integra eventually becomes the de facto ILX replacement when and if that model is finally retired at the end of the 2022 model year.
So far, a two-door has yet to be teased and we’re not confident that there will be one when the Integra finally drops. Even more telling is that the Chinese market Honda Integra does not feature a two-door nor is there a two-door version of the 11th generation Honda Civic of any kind. At this point, there is only the FE four-door and FL liftback chassis codes for the 11th generation Civic. We’d most likely see a code just for a two-door at this point and that hasn’t popped up yet by the internet sleuths on the forums nor from our own digging.
A true coupe would be a daring move in a universe in which sporty two-doors are an endangered species, but it’s the body style most associated with the glory days of the Integra, and that’s what we’ve decided to render to illustrate this article. It’s strikingly different than the compelling Integra renders another talented artist shared with us earlier (which were done before the new Integra was announced).
2023 Acura Integra: Budget Halo Car
With the NSX on the way out (being sent off with a tasty Type S version), Acura doesn’t have a true halo to show off its sporty near-luxury aspirations. The MDX, particularly the all-wheel-drive models, offer great handling and have been a standout success for the company. But even with an ILX Type S allegedly on the way, the compact sedan is not an image leader like the NSX. Instead, Ikeda told us, the Integra will fill this slot. Yes, that means the entry-level model in Acura’s range is due to step into the NSX’s shoes. It’ll have to deliver on the sporty promise of its name—and do justice to its ancestors—to achieve this, though.
2023 Acura Integra: Type S?
If leaked Acura documents we saw earlier are to be believed, an Integra Type S is in the cards and potentially much sooner than we initially thought. That’s thanks to U.S. patent and trademark filings by Honda for “Integra Type S” in late August. We almost certainly won’t see it at launch, but it could arrive soon after.
2023 Acura Integra: What’s Underneath?
Like Integras of yore, the new 2023 Integra will be heavily based on the 11th generation Honda Civic. This is a very good thing given the excellence baked into the new eleventh-generation Civic, the mind-blowing performance of the current Civic Type R, and the promise of the new Civic Si.
A 2023 Integra Type S is almost certain to leverage the Civic Type R parts bin. We do know that the Integra will come with a six-speed manual transmission and we expect it to feel similar to the Si, at the very least, so manual fans can rejoice and enjoy the rev-match feature (or don’t).
This also means we’ll most likely see the 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4, as well, but we’re also leaving room for an updated version of the Type R’s turbocharged K20C1 to get installed at some point down the road, perhaps in the Type S or perhaps a Type R.
2023 Acura Integra: Hybrid?
The Integra won’t be electrified at launch, but we do expect an electrified version to arrive at some point after the car’s release. How the Integra might be electrified is currently unclear. It may be that an electric motor will be used at the rear axle in a hybrid all-wheel-drive setup, a drivertrain layout that’s also rumored for the 11th-gen Civic Type R. There is precedent for an AWD Integra, although not in the U.S. market. In Japan, the third-generation Integra was available with AWD, but it wasn’t a hybrid.
The good news is that we won’t have to speculate about it for much longer. The worldwide debut of the 2023 Acura Integra will happen in Los Angeles on November 11, 2021. We’re going to be there, on the ground, to get the latest on this exciting new Acura sports sedan.
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