• Auto123 reviews the 2024 Acura Integra Type S.
There was rejoicing when the Acura Integra debuted in 2022 for the 2023 model-year. The Integra name – whether flying under the Acura or Honda banner – has legions of followers who appreciated the model for what it was: a zippy, relatively affordable little two-door that could be modified quite easily. (There were four-door versions, but the high-performance Type R version came only as a coupe).
Many were sad to see it go - not just once, but twice. The Integra was gone from North America in 2001, then its replacement, the RSX (but still the Integra in other markets), kicked the bucket after 2006.
Now, one year in to the revival, Acura has introduced the Type S performance model to the Integra lineup.
Exterior of the 2024 Acura Integra Type S – 8.5/10
In person, the Type S looks much wider, more aggressive, more assertive than in images. Sure, the wheels look great in person as does the blacked-out radiator grille (behind which sits a 2.0L turbo-four with a red and carbon-fibre valve cover). And so on. But what really takes the cake – and is best seen in natural light – are the fender flares and the lower stance. Especially when seen from head-on. This is one angry-looking compact that seems aware it’s here to remind the world that while Acura rolls mainly on sales of the RDX and MDX SUVs, they build cars, too.
That styling provides a great window into the drive experience. While a cursory glance could very well have one confusing the Type S with the A-Spec model one rung below it in the Integra lineup, there is much more to it than that. The A-Spec is mainly a cosmetic exercise; the Type S is a very different animal and it’s one of the biggest surprises of the year in the performance car world.
And, Acura kept the Integra logos stamped on the front and rear bumpers as well as the red valve covers, both great nods to Integras of old.
Interior of the 2024 Acura Integra Type S – 8/10
Sliding inside, we find red leather draped over a number of surfaces, from the seats (black and red up front, red in back), to the dash ahead of the front passenger, to the front armrest and door inserts. Some may call it a little much, but it does a good job to recall the Integra Type R of the mid-1990s, a cult classic if we’ve ever seen one.
I think it’s fine, but I can’t help but think that it would behoove Acura to provide other options. Which they do – there’s a charcoal option – but only if you select either certain exterior colours, none of them white. If you want white, you’re getting a red interior. Why only the front seats have the black inserts, meanwhile, is anybody’s guess.
Speaking of the interior, while the Type S and its Honda Civic Type-R share lots of running gear (as well as an infotainment system and certain switches) and are a similar size, the Honda’s hatchback profile means slightly more headroom for rear seat occupants.
The Integra can also only fit two in the back as what would be the centre rear seat has been converted into a receptacle for a pair of cupholders. That’s nice as it provides a more grand-touring air to the proceedings, but a folding armrest with built in cupholders – as sported by pretty much every other vehicle in the segment – may have been the better way to go.
Up front, Acura has aced the driver’s seating position, placing the shift lever and centre console nicely within the driver’s reach, while the steering wheel is the perfect size and just chunky enough to help with grip but not being too thick so as to bother those with smaller hands.
The wheel also frames the gauge cluster so as to not obstruct the driver’s view, but I must say that it could be a little more adventurous in its design. Or better yet, scrap the digitization completely and give us some mechanical needles. But of course, in this day and age, that seems to be getting rarer than the availability of a manual transmission.
Technology in the 2024 Acura Integra Type S – 8/10
The Type S comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as wireless charging. CarPlay worked smoothly during our test, but we found it tough to keep the charge pad working. It seems that you have to have your device sitting juuuuust right in order to get the induction to work. Although that’s more of an Acura problem as opposed to an Integra problem as we’ve experienced the issue in other Acura models before.
The infotainment display, meanwhile, measures 9 inches, which is the larger of two displays offered on the Integra.
Driving the 2024 Acura Integra Type S – 9/10
The Type S does have a stick shift - in fact it’s the only you can get it as there is no auto option - and it’s a real gem. It’s a 6-speed, of course, with slots so well-defined that you’d have to work really hard to miss a gear, even when sawing your way through a canyon road. The throw is also right on, as is the clutch take up. The one thing I would have asked for is for the red stitching on the shift knob to be slightly less pronounced as it will start to cause some palm discomfort after repeated shifting. (Driving gloves would help, if you have ‘em.)
The gearbox also comes with a rev-match feature if you don’t fancy yourself a heel-and-toe expert, and I like that. Less endearing is the fact that if you want to turn it on or off, you have to navigate through a number of menus to do so – and who wants to do that on a curvy mountain road? Including a single hard button for the feature would have been preferable.
Power comes courtesy a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine – all other trims get a 1.5L turbo – to the tune of 320 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Before you ask, that’s pretty much the same as what’s made by the Civic Type-R (the Integra does make an additional 5 hp). Power is sent to the front wheels via a helical limited slip differential, meaning that when accelerating out of corners, wheelspin is reduced and you get that much more traction as you tip into the throttle.
Indeed, it’s important the Type S has this feature (as well as a widened track, both front and rear), because it’s the kind of car that really does ask to be hustled through the corners. Yes, the chassis set-up is on the firm side - though somewhat less so than the Civic Type R - but that does help reduce body roll and allow the tires to get that much more rubber on the road, providing that much more grip.
Which is great, but all of that would be for naught if the Integra didn’t have the right steering to help get the show started. This steering rack is almost telepathic in the way it responds so immediately to driver inputs. It’s almost as if there’s no column between the steering wheel and front axle, that those two tires are right there in front of you, responding to your every command. The weight is right-on, there’s more road feel than I expected and with that compact radius, it takes very little effort to get the Integra swinging gamely through corners.
While the Integra’s suspension is slightly softer, it makes it that much easier to live with on the day-to-day as you trundle through pockmarked city streets on your daily commute.
Some of your questions about the 2024 Acura Integra Type S
How many wheel choices does the Integra Type S have?
The only size you can get is the 19-inch version, but you can option them in bronze as opposed to black.
Will the Type S get an auto transmission?
Right now, if you want an auto in your Integra you’ll have to downgrade to the A-Spec model. There are no plans at the moment to offer a Type S with an auto.
The final word
the Integra Type S actually has some pretty big shoes to fill. It needs to stake a claim for Acura’s sedan lineup, plus it has to echo some of the feel from the old Integra Type R and today’s Civic Type R. It’s a challenge that Acura has embraced wholeheartedly, and they’ve delivered what I think could be the performance bargain of the year.
- Exterior styling a nice mix of aftermarket and classic
- Honed driving dynamics
- Manual Transmission only
- Only two rear seats
- Few interior colour choices
- Some interior tech foibles
Competitors for the 2024 Acura Integra Type S
- - BMW M2
- - Honda Civic Type R
- - Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400
- - Volkswagen Jetta GLI