The newly released Civic Type R may hold some clues.
The Acura Integra was officially revealed in March this year. Now with an extra pair of doors, it still provides a decent level of performance at an attainable price, much like the Honda Civic Si. But the 1.5-liter turbo-four with 200 horsepower isn't going to be enough for everyone, which is why we're anticipating the upcoming Integra Type S following a trademark filing for the name that CarBuzz found in August last year.
We expect that Honda will have some fun with the newly released Civic Type R for a while before attention turns to the Integra Type S. And it's the new hot Civic hatchback that may give us a few clues as to what the Integra Type S will bring to the table. More than this, will it be able to live up to the standard of the original Integra Type R?
Of course, the Integra Type S has got to announce its intentions before you've started it up. The standard car has clean lines that are ripe for a few sporty accouterments. We expect more aggressive front and rear fascias on the S, including bigger front intakes and a sportier grille. The bold air curtain vents from the Civic Type R would look great on the Integra Type S, while also aiding aerodynamics. We also expect glossy black detailing around the exterior, including the wing mirrors. The new Type R has 19-inch lightweight wheels in black wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and these could also find their way onto the hottest Integra.
Backing up this more assertive look has got to be a more powerful engine, but what will it be? This 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot found under the hood of the Civic Type R is expected to make well over 300 horsepower, but will Honda want to risk cannibalizing sales of the Type R with an Integra that has the same engine and performance?
Another possibility is the 2.0-liter VTEC turbo from the TLX that makes 272 hp. That's a healthy power bump over the base Integra but still leaves the Type R out in front. A standard manual gearbox would do the Type S badge justice, but the option of an automatic or dual-clutch is also possible. The normal Integra's CVT isn't suited for a high-performance model.
Whereas the Civic Type R is exclusively front-wheel drive, the Integra Type S could use Acura's SH-AWD (Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive) system. Then again, Honda knows how to get the most out of a FWD car, so we'll have to wait and see what's decided here.
Inside, we expect sportier materials and perhaps some red detailing to spice things up, although the Civic Type R's red seats may not make it here. The digital gauge cluster could come with a few racier graphics to set it apart, and perhaps the Type R's stopwatch and data logger will be available, too.
When it arrives, the Acura Integra Type S will be the new-range-topper of the Integra lineup. We expect it to start at around $40,000 or around the same price as the Civic Type R. For Honda/Acura fans wanting a spirited car that can also be used for family duties, it will be an interesting choice between the two. The Acura has the more premium badge and will feel more upmarket, but the Honda is likely to retain its performance edge.