A new “compact premium entrant” is coming to the Acura range in 2022, and it will wear the legendary Integra badge.
Details about the new Integra are scarce, but any talk of a new model will have enthusiasts excited – even if it’s from Acura, a North American-only luxury brand that goes head-to-head with Lexus.
Will it come to Australia? Given it’s been announced as an Acura only, it’s unlikely at this stage, but we hold out hope.
The badge debuted in 1986, and lived until the mid-2000s on a range of compact front-wheel drive coupes. Sure, there were low-power commuter models, but the Integra name goes hand-in-hand with the Type R name.
Introduced to the Japanese market on the third-generation Integra in 1995, the first Type R was an ultra-light front-drive coupe with a stratospheric redline and ultra-slick gearshift.
The badge was revived on the pre-facelift fourth-generation Integra, before being axed in favour of the more luxurious Type S.
Exactly how true to type the 2022 Acura Integra will be remains to be seen.
A driver-oriented front-drive coupe is distinctly out of keeping with the current Acura range, which features mid-sized and large sedans and crossovers aimed at giving Lexus some sleepless nights.
Rivals are scarce, especially if the Integra is once again front-wheel drive.
If Acura makes the switch to rear-drive, however, the car could be pitched head-to-head with two distinct sets of rivals.
The first is the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR 86, the second is the imminent Nissan Z and Toyota Supra. The latter seems more likely, given Acura’s market position.
Then again, the Honda Civic Type R has an exceptional front-wheel drive chassis and powertrain. How good would a coupe version be?
“The Integra is back,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer.
“I’m thrilled to say Integra is returning to the Acura lineup with the same fun-to-drive spirit and DNA of the original, fulfilling our commitment to Precision Crafted Performance in every way – design, performance and the overall driving experience.”