If you were hoping the returning Acura Integra would be the peppy, three-door liftback everyone coveted 20 years ago, we may have some bad news for you. Based on the latest teasers coming from the Honda Motor Company, the fifth-generation model will likely harken back to the five-door vehicles that rarely saw themselves equipped with aftermarket body kits or cold-air intakes and barely received any screen time in the Fast & Furious films.
Rather than focus on the cars of the 1990s (arguably the high-water mark for the Integra), Honda has decided to base the new model on the first-generation and even included a photo of the 1986 Acura Integra RS 5-Door in the latest marketing materials to drive the point home.
While the sharp angles and pop-up headlamps of the 1980s are endearing, those elements are absent both from the fifth-gen model. From what we can tell, the forthcoming Integra will be a five-door with curvaceous haunches and the modern Acura beak. But it’s not as blasphemous as it first appears.
Despite not being the car many of us pined for in high school, the Integra was sold as a sedan in addition to the three-door variant we’ve since convinced ourselves was the best front-drive compact in automotive history. Some examples sporting more than the minimum number of doors even had Type R badging — not that I’ve ever seen one in the real world. The first generation also included a five-door model and that’s the vehicle Acura is using to rationalize the upcoming body style. Though it’s more likely that the manufacturer plans on replacing the ILX with the Integra and decided to base it on a newer version of the five-door Honda Civic.
Regardless, it remains traditional for the Integra to take the foundation of the Civic so it can be reformed into something grander. Odds are good that the model will be picking up parts from Honda’s performance bin in even its base configuration and it’s assuredly going to have a Type S variant going on sale eventually. But getting any specific details has been difficult.
We’ve heard that the base Integra is supposed to come with a small, turbocharged engine (likely the 1.5-liter found in Civic Touring) and front-wheel drive. But it’s likely to have a bit more oomph than what’s available from Honda and be easily outclassed by performance versions that will assuredly borrow their hardware directly from the 2.0-liter Civic Type R.
None of this has been confirmed, however, and there are loads of rumors we’re less willing to entertain — including that the Integra might offer all-wheel drive and make use of hybridization. We wouldn’t bank on anything other than there being an optional manual transmission somewhere in the mix until Acura is willing to dish out more than a few pictures.
[Images: Honda Motor Company]
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