No wing, more power, and far less red inside - the Type S is a more mature hot hatch option.
Acura has finally lifted the covers on the Integra Type S, reviving a pinnacle performance Integra and giving hot hatch fans a more grown-up alternative to the Honda Civic Type R with which this car shares much of its underpinnings. It shares a platform, engine, and gearbox with the Type R, but the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder generates an extra five ponies here, outputting 320 horsepower (at 6,500 rpm) and 310 lb-ft of torque (2,600-4,000 rpm). Acura says a high-flow exhaust and model-specific tune are the reason for the extra power, but the reality is Acura needed to have something to separate itself from the Honda, and power is an easy bragging right.
Like the Type R, it sends those outputs to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, utilizing a limited-slip differential to apportion torque and manage grip levels when the 265/30-profile Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires struggle.
That rubber finds a home around 19 x 9.5-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels finished in Shark Gray (optionally copper), wheels that are two lbs lighter than the 18s on the Integra A-Spec. Within them are housed Brembo brakes, with four-piston calipers clamping down up front on 13.8-inch rotors.
Adaptive dampers are also standard, but these are shared with the Civic Type R - albeit with Type S-specific tuning. Acura points out the 3.5-inch wider front and 1.9-inch wider rear track compared to the standard Integra and a 29mm front anti-roll bar, but all of these are shared with the Civic.
The Integra Type S has three driving modes: Comfort, Sport, and Sport+, but also carries over the Individual mode found in the Civic Type R. Acura places particular emphasis on Sport+ opening up the valves on the active exhaust system, claiming that everything is "turned up to 11 with show-stopping 'pops and bangs'" for maximum driver engagement.
No acceleration or top speed claims have been made.
The Civic Type R is notoriously out-there when it comes to its styling, but the Integra Type S is thankfully far more subdued. There is no massive wing; instead, a subtle lip spoiler sits atop the rear decklid, which can be finished in carbon fiber as an option. The bodywork has been accentuated to maximize the aggression of the Type S, with an extra 2.8 inches added to the fenders to house the wider tires. The front end is specific to the Type S, sporting a larger Diamond Pentagon grille and a larger lower opening to feed the intercooler. The grille and hood-mounted vent (made of aluminum) improve airflow by as much as 170% to enhance the cooling of the turbocharged engine. Every panel forward of the A-pillar is new to the Type S.
While the rear is suitably subtle compared to its Civic-badged sibling, there is one carryover: the triple tailpipes mounted centrally, while a gloss black diffuser (optionally carbon fiber) is said to aid downforce in the wing's absence.
Seven paint colors are offered, including Tiger Eye Pearl, which has become a staple of Acura's Type S lineup.
Unlike the Civic Type R's red-only interior, the Integra Type S has three interior color options: Red, Black, and Orchid. But the rest is remarkably familiar, including the dash layout and the 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster - albeit with an Acura-specific design. The nine-inch touchscreen featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also familiar, but the Acura gets a 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D sound system with 530 watts of kick.
The bucket seats here are less obnoxious than those in the Type R and boast standard heating and 12-way power adjustment with lumbar support, and are finished with perforated Ultrasuede inserts
The steering wheel is leather-clad with contrast stitching, while the shift boot matches the wheel in color but is made from Ulstrasuede instead of cowhide. Speaking of the shifter, the Integra Type S gets a dark anodized item with red shift markings, but this can be swapped out for a titanium shift knob inspired by the old Integra Type R.
Acura claims the Integra Type S is more practical than rivals, despite only seating four occupants. This is largely due to the long-wheelbase platform of the Integra and the fact that it's hatchback-only. Rivals like the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, BMW M235i Gran Coupe, and Audi S3 are only sold stateside in sedan form, despite hatchback variants from Audi and AMG being available elsewhere.
Still, with 24.3 cubic feet of trunk space, and 60/40-split folding rear seats, the Integra Type S is a clear leader here, and its 37.4 inches of rear legroom is pretty substantial compared to the 33.9 inches offered by the AMG CLA 35.
Acura will build the Integra Type S right here on US soil, specifically at the Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio, where the Integra, TLX, and TLX Type S are produced. The engine, meanwhile, will be sourced from the Anna Engine Plant in Ohio, where Civic Type R engines and the TLX and MDX Type S V6s are built.
But just like performance figures, Acura hasn't disclosed how much the Type S will cost. We anticipate an increase over the Civic Type R's $43,295 MSRP, with rivals from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes ranging from $46,800 to $49,500.
We don't doubt the Integra Type S will drive better than those all-wheel-drive rivals, but whether its five-horsepower increase over the Civic Type R will justify an increase in price remains to be seen. We have our doubts.
The Integra Type S will debut this weekend at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach before officially going on sale in June.
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