Do you know that meme with Thanos saying “Perhaps I treated you too harshly”? Yeah, it seems that applies to the 2023 Acura Integra. Because after Reddit and YouTube got done bashing it, it’s turning out to be a great Civic alternative with available AWD.
This report comes with two sources basically indicating the same thing. The Integra Talk forum has a snippet out of what looks like an email from Acura of Brookfield in Wisconsin and it says the following:
“When winter rolls around and covers the roads with rain, ice and snow, you’ll be happy to have the available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system to increase your traction in these circumstances and prevent sliding.”
Now, this seems like a very deliberate statement, not some random typo. And SH-AWD would indeed boost sales for Acura in the snow belt. There aren’t many compact cars available with AWD. And we’ve seen Subaru WRX buyers pick it over everything else with similar power just because of the all-weather capabilities.
Unlike a Supra or a GR86, this isn’t some weekend toy, but an everyday commuter car that just happens to own an iconic name in the JDM scene. The GR Corolla is likely to also have AWD, but the most direct rival to the AWD Integra would actually be the Mazda3.
For $31,550 you can get the 3er with its “Turbo” setup sending 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque to all wheels. And that’s cutting it pretty close, considering we know Honda will sell the new Integra for $30,000 (without the AWD). But we get why you’d buy the Acura; it’s just such an exciting new product.
The same dealer email reveals what else will be connected to the SH-AWD system, namely the 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo 4-cylinder. It’s basically the same one used in the Civic Si, with the slightly lighter flywheel, 200 hp, and 192 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual is being confirmed here, although an automatic with paddle shifters is widely expected.
Acura Integra, the return of a VTEC legend
As you can see, many things are changing for the Integra. Unlike the originals, which were true imports, this one will come out of Honda’s factory in Marysville, Ohio. We’re also hoping the Civic Type R powertrain will be offered in about a year, pushing somewhere in the 272-306 hp ballpark. Apparently, only geniuses can appreciate an Integra Type R. We do; and we want one right now.
People hated the 2023 Integra because it’s not a sports car. But Acura is a luxury brand, born out of Honda’s need to make extra profits out of limited import numbers.
The Integra brought high-tech features to the Civic platform. It had advanced suspension, variable valve timing, and independent double-wishbone suspension. A 2000 Integra Type R in yellow or white was the closest thing you could have to a FWD race car for the road. And yeah, the RSX that followed didn’t live up to expectations, but we still think it’s cool.
The all-new 2023 Integra is not styled after its legendary predecessors. This is a four-door coupe, essentially a sporty sedan shape with wide hips and a sloped roof. Acura designers added decals and “Integra” stamped into the bumper for nostalgia.