Spied! Could This Be Our First Glimpse of the Acura Integra Type S?

It's a bit fuzzy, but check out the exhaust

Acura Integra Type S prototype - spied
(Images: TFL Studios, courtesy of James T.)

Hmm…an Acura Integra Type S would be an interesting prospect, don’t you think?

Honda and its luxury brand have been methodical, to say the least, with their rollouts based around the new, eleventh-generation Civic. We’ve worked our way up through the lineup, from the Civic sedan to the hatchback, the Si and its Acura Integra counterpart, and most recently the Civic Type R hot hatch. But one question still rings in the back of my mind: Will we see a “Type R” version of Acura’s new entry-level car?

It seems that could indeed be the case, albeit with a slight branding change. You see, performance models under the Acura banner bear the “Type S” nameplate. In the modern sense, that includes the (now departed) NSX Type S, the TLX Type S sedan and the MDX Type S crossover. James sent in a few shots of this Acura Integra prototype in the wild near Flagstaff, Arizona, and the hallmark of a performance version jumped out immediately: Three. Exhaust. Pipes.

2023 Honda Civic Type R

Look familiar?

My enthusiast side is jumping for joy right now, I’ll have you know. Honestly, though Acura has made no official mention of an Integra Type S existing, it makes total sense to do so.

Acura has reintroduced and expanded the Type S brand over the past few years. The company’s culled models where that branding doesn’t make sense (i.e. the large, luxurious RLX), and honed models where it does. The TLX Type S is a brilliant midsize performer, and the MDX cashes in on the performance SUV craze that’s sweeping across the crossover market. In Acura’s current turbocharged stable, that leaves two contenders to get the Type S treatment: the compact RDX crossover — more on that in a moment — and the Integra.

With the prototype Integra above, the triple-exhaust setup really gives the game away.

While I can’t technically go so far as to confirm an Integra Type S is happening…come on. Just look at it. It’s not just the exhausts, either: This Integra packs large, performance-oriented wheels with fat tires to boot.

All the better for containing around 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, if we borrow insight from the Honda Civic Type R. Odds are, we’ll see the same K20C1 engine make its appearance here, much like the standard Integra borrows its 1.5-liter mill lock, stock, and barrel from the Civic Si. Like the Integra A-Spec and the Type R, it makes sense to cater this car (again, should Acura put it into production…it’s not yet a given) toward enthusiasts.

Acura Integra Type S prototype - spied
James caught a quick glimpse of the front end through his rearview mirror…but there’s not much to see, unfortunately.

A 6-speed manual? Yes, please. Helical limited-slip front differential? I’ll take one of those as well, thank you very much. The appeal here, should the Type R still look a bit too boy racer-ish for your liking, is to wrap up that drivetrain in a sharp-looking body. If they go through with it — here’s looking at you, Acura — I think the Integra Type S could be truly fantastic.

What do you think?