2023 Acura Integra Prototype First Look: A Five-Door Sensation?

The Acura Integra is back! A decade and a half since the model left the U.S. market, the popular premium sport compact makes its long-anticipated comeback. With its classic five-door shape (it was available on early models), the 2023 Acura Integra will launch with a six-speed manual transmission and a standard 1.5-liter turbo engine that should attract enthusiasts. 

While the model revealed today is a prototype, we shouldn’t take it for anything other than essentially what the production version will look like. As with other recent Hondas and Acuras, the production Integra will present about 98 percent of what you see here. Boasting Acura’s new design language, the Integra looks aggressive, sporty, and bold. Designed in Japan, the Integra arrives with a swoopy roofline and liftback tailgate to offer versatility and style at the same time.

If you remember Acura’s sexy Type S concept, you may see some familiarity in the Integra. The frameless Diamond Pentagon grille came straight from the Type S Concept, and its “Chicane” LED daytime running lights are now positioned above the Integra’s Jeweled Eye headlights. 

The back end shows a more muscular appearance, as the wheel arches get stronger and the rear fascia houses dual exhaust tubes finished in Yellow Pearl paint—the same paint from the NSX. The taillights mimic the headlight’s design, giving the rear more presence. The 19-inch wheels found on the prototype give the profile a sporty look, and the big Brembo brakes with yellow calipers should provide good stopping power. 

Acura will reveal the interior later, but we expect it will look similar to the Civic’s, which isn’t a bad thing. The new compact sedan has a premium cabin, and we like its spaciousness, technology, and overall design and versatility. 

If the Integra’s overall shape looks like a Civic hatchback to you, that’s because it shares a lot of parts with its Honda sibling. The Integra is based on a revised version of the Civic platform and will most likely offer a similar level of performance. Though Acura didn’t spill the beans on the Integra’s numbers, we expect to see somewhere between 180 and 200 hp to start.

Trademark filings also indicate there will be a Type S model, which we expect will be the more powerful version that could share its bones and powertrain with the upcoming Civic Type R. Still, a standard turbo engine and six-speed manual may be enough to convince enthusiasts to take a hard look at the base Integra.

With the Acura NSX saying farewell, the Integra will hold a special place in Acura’s lineup—and oddly, it will be both its halo model and its entry-level model. The Integra will be a gateway performance car, and it will compete against the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A Class, and BMW 2 Series, while also serving as the Acura lineup’s spiritual leader. 

We expect to hear more details on the new Integra in the next few months, but as with previous Integras, the new one will be affordable. Pricing will start around $30,000, which should put it in a competitive place within the segment, and it may even take some sales away from the Civic hatchback. The Sport Touring Civic hatch, which comes with a six-speed manual and the 1.5-liter turbo engine, starts at $30,415. 

The 2023 Acura Integra will be the first Integra built in the U.S., and it will arrive here in spring 2022. As the Integra moves into its final production form, let’s hope it can “live up to the hype” and step out of the humble Honda Civic’s shadow—much like how the original did—and hopefully avoid the same fate as the lame ILX, Acura’s most recent Civic-based creation.

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