Acura pulled a literal blinder on all of us by announcing it would be reviving the Integra nameplate (sold in the rest of the world as a Honda) next year. It’s great news for enthusiasts everywhere, and now we’re getting some new details courtesy of Motor Trend‘s interview with Acura vice president and brand officer Jon Ikeda.
With the company operating as a premium offshoot of Honda, the new Integra will occupy the bottom of the lineup as an entry-level model. As such, it will be diametrically opposed to the NSX, the last Type S version of which will leave the Performance Manufacturing Centre (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio just as its little sibling goes on sale. But it too will be a performance icon for Acura, building on the goodwill among fans.
The NSX was introduced in 2015 as part of a wholesale six-year revamp of the brand – a mission that will be continued by the new Integra. “Now it’s the right time to retire the halo and bring in the volume entry car. It’s time to return to Integra,” said Ikeda.
In order to hit a lower price point, the car won’t, as previously suggested, be based on the TLX. Instead, it will be built on the bones of the Civic, which has recently moved into its 11th generation. This means that the Integra will fill in the space currently occupied by the ILX, which uses the ninth-gen‘s underpinnings. However, the Integra won’t be a direct successor to the ILX. “Integra is not a replacement for ILX but Integra is our entry gateway vehicle. We don’t plan on having something below that,” said Ikeda.
The design has already been locked in, with Ikeda saying it is “an Integra for this generation” and describing it as sporty and recognisably an Integra. Despite this, the company is still keeping mum on the exact form of the new car – when asked whether it will be a two-door coupé, a sporty four-door or both, Ikeda simply said, “Maybe.” Bear in mind that while the Integra was more popular as a coupé, a sedan was also offered.
Even though the project is being led by Acura in the United States, the Integra will be developed in Japan, raising the possibility of it being sold in other markets. This is in stark contrast to the NSX, which was designed in the US and built there exclusively. Having bought two Integras as his first Hondas after joining the company, Ikeda made sure the team included “all the elements that made him buy an Integra,” such as the price – hence the use of the Civic as a base.
While Honda is currently focused on electrifying its lineup, the Integra will not be offered as a hybrid (at least at launch) to keep the prices low – although Motor Trend expects one to be introduced further down the line. The car is also expected to borrow some bits from the forthcoming Civic Type R (also due out in 2022), and while there won’t be a high-performance variant available initially, a Type S will almost certainly get made at some point. “I am aware people will want an Integra Type S,” Ikeda said.
The Integra will be made in the US, its largest market, and is poised to be a volume seller, said Ikeda – helping Acura achieve the goal of 200,000 annual sales in America. He added that he is aiming to sell 180,000 vehicles this year, led by the new MDX SUV.
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