Honda, through its American-led Acura luxury division, has officially re-introduced one of its most famous nameplates: Integra.
However, unless you’re in North America, your chances of buying one at this stage appear slim – our Honda Australia sources indicate it’s a left-hand drive, Acura-branded product only.
Indeed, for the first time, the Integra will be made in the United States. Ohio to be specific.
Previewed in five-door ‘concept’ form in November of last year, the reborn production liftback model is essentially a sleeker, sportier alternative to the North American Honda Civic – as a look inside shows you.
Therefore those who remember the Integra as a two-door coupe will need to adjust their expectations and remember this isn’t the 1990s any more, and just be glad it isn’t an SUV.
That said, the first Acura Integra launched in 1986 as a five-door.
Acura has promised a few exciting elements: namely a starting price of around $US30,000 ($A41,000), a 200hp (150kW) turbocharged engine, a six-speed manual gearbox option, and a “sport-tuned chassis”.
The company calls the reborn model “an icon for the next generation” that acts as a “premium performance gateway”, and promises it has retained “the fun-to-drive spirit of previous Integras”.
The engine is a 1.5-litre unit familiar from the Civic, but tuned up to 150kW and 260Nm. A close-ratio six-speed manual with rev-matching and limited-slip diff up front is available, alongside a conservative CVT auto with paddles.
There’s multi-link suspension at both ends and electric power steering with a variable ratio. At 4720mm long, the Integra is around the same nose-to-tail as a BMW 3 Series.
Australians keen on a performance Honda will need to wait for the new-generation Civic Type R expected here in late 2022, with more power and a hatchback body replete with giant wing.