LOS ANGELES — Acura’s surprise announcement that it’s reviving the Integra name for a coming compact sedan offers hope for a return to its performance roots in the entry-level segment.
Acura used an event at Monterey Car Week on Thursday that focused on the final model year of the NSX supercar to also announce the return of the Integra, which was one of its original models when the brand was launched in 1986.
The brand’s current compact sedan, the ILX, dates back to the 2013 model year and is based on a platform that was used by the Honda Civic two vehicle generations ago. Acura sold just 10,190 of the ILX in the first seven months of this year, although that was an improvement over the 6,625 sales in the same period last year.
The Integra was originally offered as a three-door or five-door hatchback but was later offered as a four-door sedan before being discontinued in 2006.
During the Thursday announcement, Acura offered little information on the revived Integra, except to say that details will come in spring 2022.
“The Integra is back,” Acura Vice President Jon Ikeda said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to say Integra is returning to the Acura lineup with the same fun-to-drive spirit and DNA of the original, fulfilling our commitment to precision-crafted performance in every way — design, performance and the overall driving experience.”
With a new generation of the Honda Civic launched this year, the upcoming Integra will have an updated platform to build on. But even more exciting for Acura fans, the brand has promised a Type S version of the compact sedan that will better compete with rivals.
The 2022 ILX has just 201 hp from a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. In contrast, the newly redesigned TLX midsize sedan has a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 272 hp and the Type S version has a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with 355 hp.
The current ILX is also offered only in front-wheel drive, while the redesigned TLX can be optioned with the company’s “super handling all-wheel-drive” system that improves power delivery and cornering. A potential awd version of the Integra with the 272-hp motor would better match luxury sports sedan rivals.
A leaked Acura presentation to dealers last year confirmed the 2022 timeline for a “new compact sedan” with an optional Type S performance variant. There had been media speculation that it could use past Acura names such as RSX or TSX given the brand’s three-letter naming convention.
Although Honda discontinued the coupe body style for the Civic last year, Acura is probably unlikely to revive it for a two-door Integra. Most likely is a four-door sedan given that Honda axed the coupe because of extremely slow sales. Honda sells both a sedan and hatchback version of the redesigned Civic.