Acura unveils the new Integra prototype

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Acura says its new Integra prototype will be a five-door compact sports sedan, like the 1986 original.

Acura announced Friday that the company will reveal the new Integra prototype after teasing that it may come.

The debut comes on Thursday 11 November in Los Angeles. The event will take place at 5:35 pm Pacific Standard Time, 8:35 pm Eastern Standard Time at Acura.com/Integra.

“I am thrilled to say that Integra is returning to the Acura range with the same spirit and fun-to-drive DNA as the original, fulfilling our commitment to precision-crafted performance in every way,” said Jon Ikeda, Vice President and Official Acura Brand. , in August. “The Integra is back.”

What is known about the car

The world debut marks the return of the famous nameplate to the Acura line-up and a further sign that the company is looking to rehabilitate its performance-oriented image. Although not much is known, the company had previously stated that the new fifth-generation Integra will be a premium sports compact with a five-door design like the original Integra, launched alongside the Acura brand on March 27, 1986. Teaser photos reveal a car that shares the brand’s new design language that debuted with the updated 2021 TLX.

As you might expect from a company reviving a fan favorite, the car will come with a 6-speed manual gearbox, as the first generation Integra was equipped with a 5-speed manual. And if it stays true to previous Integra, it will most likely share its foundations with the current Honda Civic. Ikeda has already pointed out that the reborn Integra will have a “fun-to-drive spirit and DNA”, very similar to the original coupe.

The 1986 Acura Integra RS 5-door sedan, also available as a three-door coupe.

While Acura has said that a new Integra will go on sale in 2022, it will most likely be a 2023 model.

What it means for ILX

This also seems to mean the end for the long tooth ILX, Acura’s current compact sedan whose sales have increased this year, surpassing the sales of newcomers such as the Genesis G70, Cadillac CT4, Audi A3 Other BMW 2 Series. But it is still surpassed by giants like the Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The ILX, a four-door sedan, is nothing more than a revamped previous-generation Honda Civic, powered by a 201-horsepower four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Driver assistance safety systems are impressive and include standard front collision warning, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, road exit mitigation, adaptive cruise control, camera multi-view rear and rear cross traffic monitor. Blind spot information is optional as part of two optional packages.

The new Integra will come with a 6-speed manual transmission, unlike Acura’s current compact, the ILX.

An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on all ILXs except the base model. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features are available in optional packages. Still, it’s hard to imagine Acura continuing to produce the ILX once the Integra is in production, especially given the diminishing demand for sedans, no matter what the price.

What it means for Acura

Sure, being first worked well for Acura, at least initially. As the first top-tier Japanese marque, one that appeared half a decade earlier than Lexus or Infiniti, Acura seemed to be firing on all cylinders with the success of Integra and Legend.

The brand seemed to embody the best of Japanese performance and luxury cars. But with the passing of Honda founder Soichiro Honda, the brand began to drift. In 1995, the brand seemed lost, fielding mediocrities like the TL sedan, while killing the legend, a car still revered today.

The Integra will share its style with the revamped TLX.

It got worse, as the designers lost touch with the essence of the brand when they hid the exhausts, something most Acura aficionados would rather see. Most famous was the chrome nose, also known as the milk mustache, which did little to enhance the brand’s appeal.

In 2002, the Integra was also gone, replaced by the RSX, a car that never attracted the same devotion and didn’t have the magic of the Integra name. Then again, few cars have made it apart from the exotic NSX. Instead, the company seemed inundated with generic tags with an equally generic environment: CL, MDX, RL, RLX, RDX, TL, TLX, SLX, and ZDX. Over a 13-year period, Acura’s market share fell precipitously, but stabilized in 2018 before starting to rise again.

Part of the credit should go to the revamped 2017 NSX hybrid sports car, a true first for the auto industry, and a sign that perhaps the brand’s performance mojo was coming back to life. It seemed to be confirmed when, after 26 years as a Honda designer, Ikeda was named Vice President and Acura Brand Officer in 2019, the same year the brand announced the return of the high-performance “S” sports models.

It was followed by the launch of the Acura TLX 2021, which looked like the first true Acura sports sedan in years. Yet, all of this comes along as Acura has confirmed that the NSX will end production in 2022. That said, Acura officials have suggested they will explore future options, and an all-electric NSX appears to be a possibility.

By reviving the Integra, Acura has learned the value of its most treasured brand names. Which leads to the following question: is he the next Legend?

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