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Behind the Wheel: 2024 Acura Integra Type S

Behind the Wheel: 2024 Acura Integra Type S

Following a 16-year hiatus, the anticipation surrounding Acura’s announcement of the iconic Integra’s return stirred a blend of emotions—excitement intertwined with trepidation. Renowned for its legendary status, particularly the DC2 Type R Integra, lauded for its factory-tuned B18C engine and exceptional handling, the vehicle symbolized pure inspiration encased in sheet-metal, reshaping perceptions of power derived from small, naturally aspirated engines. Its reputation burgeoned with each victorious race, commanding attention at car shows, gracing magazine covers, and captivating enthusiasts worldwide.

Now, in the dawn of 2024, the reintroduction of the Integra heralds the arrival of the Type S, epitomizing the pinnacle of Acura’s engineering prowess. While reminiscent of the revered Type R, this latest iteration aligns with Acura’s contemporary nomenclature for high-performance vehicles. Functionally akin, the Type S distinction offers a subtle demarcation between Honda’s performance line and Acura’s offerings. Despite sharing several hardware components, the Integra Type S and Civic Type R are distinct entities, each tailored to cater to discernibly different demographics, meticulously crafted by distinct development teams.

The Integra Type S mirrors the exhilarating driving experience of its Civic counterpart, albeit with a refined touch. Unlike the Civic’s raw edge, the Integra boasts a refined demeanor, meticulously honed to perfection. Spearheaded by a team led by the esteemed Yoshiaki Akimoto, renowned for his pioneering contributions to Honda’s engineering legacy, including the creation of the Integra GS-R’s first 4-cylinder VTEC, the S2000 AP1 engine, and participation in Honda’s 2005 F1 engine program.

So, what defines the fastest and most capable Integra of 2024? To begin, the standard equipment boasts a turbocharged 2.0L VTEC engine—an essential addition considering the desires of enthusiasts from past decades. While previous iterations demonstrated exceptional track prowess, many owners yearned for increased power, often resorting to aftermarket turbo installations. However, the delicate balance achieved by Honda’s engineers risked disruption through such modifications. Enter the new Integra Type S, equipped with a factory turbo, precisely calibrated to complement the brakes, suspension, and chassis, ensuring optimal balance and performance. Delivering an impressive 320 hp and a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds, this powerhouse also features a mandatory 6-speed manual transmission—a testament to Acura’s unwavering commitment to driving enthusiasts.

In terms of hardware, the Integra Type S leaves nothing to be desired, boasting Brembo front brakes, an adaptive damper system, Michelin Pilot Sport high-performance tires, and striking 19” Shark Gray alloy wheels. Inside, the iconic Type R red accents permeate the interior, harmonizing with the contrast stitching and trim elements, accentuating the allure of the meticulously crafted cabin. Noteworthy amenities include a 10.2” Precision Cockpit information interface, a heads-up display, and a premium 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D sound system.

Diverging from its Civic counterpart, the Integra Type S demonstrates a more compliant suspension tune, offering a comfortable yet engaging driving experience. The Sport + mode, reminiscent of the Civic’s middle Sport mode, features reduced rebound damping, while the electric power steering assist maps have been retuned for a lighter touch in Comfort mode. Despite its performance credentials, the Integra Type S excels as a daily driver, seamlessly blending comfort with exhilaration—albeit requiring a manual gearbox for the full immersive experience.

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The reintroduction of the Type S marks a long-awaited and highly anticipated milestone within Acura’s illustrious lineage. Initial apprehensions dissipate upon experiencing the vehicle firsthand, as the 2024 Acura Integra Type S exudes a blend of speed, responsiveness, and refinement, drawing from its storied heritage while embracing the latest automotive and technological advancements. A comprehensive package that echoes the spirit of its predecessor, if not surpassing it in certain aspects.

Price as tested: $53,785.00.

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