Spied! Could This Be A Prototype Acura Integra?

This development car "definitely had an Acura front end", says the person who caught it

Acura Integra prototype?
This car was spotted roaming around Columbus, Ohio — less than an hour’s drive from Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center. (Image: TFLcar, via Zach A.)

Could this be the new Acura Integra?

When Zach sent in this photo to us, I’ll admit it the dimensions and camouflage threw me off. It doesn’t look like a coupe at first glance, so it can’t be the Acura Integra…right? For the uninitiated, the brand’s Civic-derived two-door model first appeared back in 1985, with the original production run ceasing in 2001. To this day, though, the Integra (and especially the Type R) has gone done as one of the best front-wheel drive sports cars ever — and Acura did tease a new model just a few weeks ago.

Still, there’s a lot we don’t know about the car at this point. Here’s what information Zach included with his photo:

“I saw this today (Sept. 3) driving around Columbus, Ohio. The front end (sorry no photo) was definitely an Acura front end, so I’m assuming that this is the upcoming Integra. Thought you might find interesting.”

Not being able to see the front end here, I was fairly skeptical (and still feel a bit, “Eh…is it really an Integra?” about it). To my eye, this sports some of the same styling cues as what we determined to be the 11th-gen Honda Civic Si. I called it out as such — and my reasoning came down to the tailpipe, the four-door-ish dimensions, the mirror placement and some of the overall exterior styling. I was so fixated on the rear and front three-quarters of the car, in fact, that some of you out there in the TFL community pointed out some crucial differences to what’s in that post.

What do you think?

With the photo Zach sent in, the license plate is in a completely different location to what we’d expect from a Civic. The roofline also seems to be raked in such a way that it may actually be a coupe after all — even if the camouflage would suggest otherwise. Those double-spoke wheels also look relatively close to what Acura’s used in the past — but they are different to what you can get on a current-gen TLX.

I’ll eat crow and say I was wrong on the Civic assumption, because I certainly was upon looking at it again. It’s a bummer that we can’t see the front end, but if Zach’s also saying that it’s “definitely Acura” then it’s definitely worth taking into account. Just based on the camouflaged car’s dimensions, I wasn’t completely convinced. But that could be what Honda/Acura are playing at — visual deception is part and parcel for brand new models automakers don’t want the public to see…yet. This could just be a development mule, too — sort of like this shorter Ram 1500 was an analog for the Jeep Wagoneer. Underneath, it may well be an Integra, but with a body that looks closer to a TLX, at least on the surface.

We’ll hopefully know more with certainty next year, though if you think this isn’t an Acura Integra prototype either let us know what you think in the comments below.