2024 Acura Integra Type S

Road Test: 2024 Acura Integra Type S

The end is near for the gasoline car as we know it and while nothing is ever certain, vehicles like the Acura Integra Type S powered solely by highly refined dinosaur juice aren’t long for this world.

The 2024 Integra gets the first Type S badge applied to a compact Acura since the RSX. The Type S badge has always meant good things, and a lot has changed since that car was last sold including the widespread use of turbocharged engines.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

The new Integra Type S shares the chassis and powertrain with the Civic Type R, which all but guarantees it’s going to be good, and like the Honda, the only way to spec one is with a manual transmission.

Powertrain: With a 2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder under the hood, the Type S gets 320 horsepower, 120 more than the standard Integra. There’s also 310 pound-feet of torque which makes this one potent front-wheel drive car. Helping put all that power to the ground without torque steering to oblivion is the same dual-axis front struts and limited-slip differential that imbue the Type R with its physics defying stability under acceleration.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

Exterior: The front and rear tracks are wider too. Each corner is stuffed with 265-width 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S summer rubber. Fender flares accommodate the wider tires and give the Integra a muscular, hunkered down look. The front grille is slightly larger and allows for more cooling air to flow in, and there’s a functional hood scoop. Instead of the Civic’s large wing, there’s a small lip spoiler. There’s a new diffuser insert for the rear bumper that Honda says provides some aero, and then there’s the best bit—the centre exit triple exhaust. Tuned to be louder here than it is in the Civic.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

The Type S, especially in black, is sleek and elegant, a contrast from the Type R’s sportier design. But its proportions and stance immediately tell you that this isn’t an ordinary Integra.

Interior: From the perfect seating position to the tactile controls and easy to use infotainment, things are just as good when stepping inside. Instrumentation is fully digital and the display is clean and simple but some extra graphical oomph wouldn’t hurt. Civic owners will feel at home in the Integra, since the two share most components, but the Civic’s cabin is a masterclass of function, ergonomics, and aesthetics. Acura touches include leather upholstery, nicer materials, and a thumping 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D stereo system. The front seats with centre Alcantara inserts have more bolstering but are still very comfortable. I still prefer the seats in the Civic. Something about those bright red buckets just do it for me.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

Because this is a hatchback there’s an enormous 688 litres of space under the glass, and the rear seats have generous amounts of legroom even for adults above 6-feet tall.

The Drive: The real fun starts when you set off. The 6-speed manual transmission—the only transmission on offer—is as good as manual transmissions get.  The gates are well defined and well-spaced. The gear lever slots into them with a wonderful mechanical feel and the nicely weighted clutch has great feel. Every manual should be this good.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

It doesn’t end there, because the Type S is uncharacteristically powerful for a Honda product. The mighty 2-litre starts off a bit soft but then dumps a bucket of torque as the digital tach needle crests 3000 rpm. It’s enough to overwhelm the sticky Michelin summer tires, especially if it’s rainy or cold. This is a bit of a front-wheel drive muscle car.

The engine/gearshift combo with the Type S’ sublime handling is a recipe for greatness.  The steering sets a new bar for EPS (electric power steering) racks in the Integra’s price range. It is Porsche good. The brakes utilize 4-piston Brembo front calipers clamping large rotors all around Pedal feel is excellent and you always have confident stopping power. For its size, the Integra doesn’t weigh as much as a house, a good thing and one that you can feel in the corners.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

Like the Type R there’s a drive mode selector but instead of “R” mode, you get “Sport Plus”, and also a “Comfort” mode. In “Sport Plus” the valved exhaust opens up and lets out a roar the Civic wishes it had, complete with the burbles and pops when lifting off the gas and during aggressive shifts.

The Integra relishes spirited driving and can do it all day but place it into “Comfort” mode and the dampers soften up to a level the “Type R” cannot get to. The exhaust quiets down and the steering lightens up. It feels like a much tamer version of itself. Great on a long drive. There’s a Jekyll and Hyde element to the Integra that makes it an enticing proposition over the Civic.

Conclusion: I’m not sure I could choose between the two. The Integra is about $5000 more than the Type R which starts at just over $50K but the extra kit is nice to have and the slightly more comfortable suspension tune will be a godsend on those days when you’d rather just have a more relaxing drive. At this point, though, it doesn’t really matter because the Type S is going to be difficult to find new, without a significant markup.  It’s a bargain at MSRP but any more than that and you start entering the territory of some seriously powerful cars and the Integra’s value proposition goes out the window.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

Price as tested: $58,828.50
Freight and PDI: $2,728.50
Configuration: Front engine/Front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.0-litre single turbo inline-4/ 6-speed manual
Power/torque: 320 horsepower/ 310 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Premium (47 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 9.9 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 10.3 L/100 km
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Audi S3, BMW 2 Series, Subaru WRX, Toyota GR Corolla, Volkswagen Golf R
Website: Acura Canada

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