What’s up with the Acura Integra prototype reveal?
“Man, folks really have a strong opinion on the new Acura Integra,” was our collective reaction to Thursday night’s reveal. Those same people were hoping for the resurrection of a legend, as the iconic DC2 coupe ushered out the name in the United States two decades years ago. The automaker even played to enthusiasts in the months-long lead up to the debut, acknowledging this car would have a 6-speed manual transmission — much to my own excitement, I’ll admit.
What we got, though, plainly isn’t the sort of car a lot feverishly clamored for Acura to revive. Rather than simply describe the reaction to our video (and many others beside, including the company’s own live stream), let’s collate some of the more pointed responses and take a deeper dive, shall we?
“Man, I was really looking forward to these”
You guys offer a ton of feedback on each of our videos, and you certainly participated this time around as well. What’s more, you made your feelings emphatically (and pretty much unanimously) clear on the new Acura Integra.
“Looks like every other Acura.” — @96WS6TA
“I was expecting something else feels a bit lazy on Acura’s part.” — @gabbylikesshikeneslol
“Bro it’s literally the ILX front with the Genesis Coupe rear, even the wheels look similar to the genesis coupe lmfaoo.” — jcamargo2048
Quite a few of you hit on the point that it just isn’t distinctive, like the old car was:
“If it’s ‘an Integra for the next generation,’ it would have been electric. If it’s an Integra for nostalgia, it would have looked like an Integra. I think they missed on both counts…😞“ — @Lu B
“Please do not put this into production, its ugly and its nothing like the old Integra.” — @Ace of Spaces
Acura may call this the “Prototype”, but…
One more comment from @Tim Arnold caught my eye. “NEWSFLASH! – ALL of Honda’s “prototypes” are 99% production-intent parts with the rest having non-production finishes or maybe hand-made taillights or custom upholstery – things that are easy to customize. There have been a small handful of exceptions to that, like the various NSX prototypes they build, but that is what the production Integra will look like.”
Here’s the thing. Barring a dramatic about face from Acura, that comment is right on the money. Like it or not, this will (most likely) be the Integra that goes into production.
So this is the point where I — and some other folks out there — open themselves up to a flaming by playing devil’s advocate for this car. With the way the market’s been going, there wasn’t much reason to hold out for a modern interpretation of the DC2 coupe. Nostalgia for legends like that is always a tremendously powerful force, but there’s little business case to follow it up. There’s a reason Honda killed the Civic Coupe off in this generation: You guys weren’t buying them.
As far as the car being too Civic-ish, I have to ask: Did you guys not have a problem with that before? Even the old Integras were based around the equivalent Honda Civic of the time. We used that as an interpretation of what this car was going to be in the months before Acura actually revealed it, never mind the fact that the Civic Si — around which the Acura Integra Prototype is based — has long been a fantastic blend of performance and value.
Which leads into a couple more points. This Acura Integra, if and when the automaker puts it into production, will start around $30,000. In other words, slightly more expensive than a Honda Civic. Personal opinion: I really like Acura’s latest design language, and while I understand the frustration with its front-end similarity to other models like the ILX and TLX, it still looks pretty sharp. Of course, we always say styling is subjective and you have every right to think I’m an idiot for having that stance, but it is what it is.
Would a performance version help?
We haven’t driven the new Integra yet, obviously, so I won’t go out on a limb and say its dynamics exactly match or surpass the old ones. But, I have one final point where Acura may have a chance to win people back. I have a fairly strong hunch we’ll eventually see an Acura Integra Type S — possibly with the 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC engine that’s in the Civic Type R. If Acura were to do that, effectively putting the Integra in the 300 horsepower club, and give it their Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system? Then it could be a more svelte, more mature, less in-your-face Civic Type R.
We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but one thing’s definitely clear here. At least among die-hard Integra fans, Acura’s already facing headwinds to sell this latest version.