The Acura Integra has long been a favorite among motoring enthusiasts thanks to its sharp handling and the smooth-revving VTEC engine. With Acura resurrecting the Integra name after a 21-year absence, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit the original icon and take a look at what the new model is all about.
And, of course, we answer the most important question of all: ‘How much power is it packing under the hood?”.
The Acura Integra Horsepower Timeline
Image Credit: HotCars
|First-gen Integra goes on sale (85-118hp)
|Second-gen Integra goes on sale (130-160hp)
|160hp 1.7-liter GS-R
|Third-gen Integra goes on sale (142-195hp)
|70hp 1.8-liter GS-R
|197hp 1.8-liter Type R – JDM only
|195hp 1.8-liter Type R – US market introduction
|Temporary pause in production of Type R in the US
|Fourth-gen Acura RSX replaces Integra model name in the US (160-210hp)
|200hp 2.0-liter RSX Type S
|10hp 2.0-liter RSX Type S
|Acura RSX production ends
|Fifth-gen Acura Integra returns to US (200-320hp)
|320hp 2.0-liter Type S
The very first Integra models were introduced in 1985. They were marketed as entry-level family cars globally, with the US getting a slightly more upmarket Acura branded version. While they were great at the day-to-day driving duties, sharp driving dynamics and a sporty design set them apart from the competition.
But it wasn’t until the second-gen models arrived in 1989 that the Acura Integra really pushed the envelope in handling and performance. The first big change was a fully independent suspension, giving the Integra increased agility and cornering ability.
Highest output-per-liter of any non-turbo engine in production.
Then, in 1992, the GS-R model was introduced. Aside from further suspension improvements, it was fitted with the B17A1 VTEC engine. Thanks to the VTEC variable valve timing system, it produced 160hp from just 1.7 liters and revved to a mad 8,250rpm. This gave it one of the highest outputs per liter of any non-turbo engine in production.
1993 saw the introduction of the third-gen models. A thorough redesign saw improvements to the chassis, suspension, and drivetrain. The controversial ‘spider eyes’ front headlight treatment wasn’t particularly well received in Japan. An early facelift re-introduced a more conventional headlight design for that market. For the US market, the GS-R received the B18C1 1.8-liter VTEC motor, which now pushed out 170hp.
But it was the Type R model that gave the Integra its cult-like status among car fans. Initially released in Japan in 1995, the Type R was fitted with a 197hp version of the 1.8-liter B18C VTEC engine. The Type R went on a serious diet, losing its rear wiper and most luxuries; the suspension was uprated, and a limited-slip differential was standard fitment. The end result was superb handling and blistering acceleration (for the era), with the 0-60mph sprint taking a little over 6.0 seconds.
One of the best handling FWD cars of all time.
We had to wait until 1997 before the US market got the Type R. Power was ever so slightly down to 195hp, but it still produced the highest horsepower-per-liter of any vehicle on sale in the US at the time. Production of all Integra-badged models in the US ended in 2001.
This model’s successor was introduced in 2002 and badged as a Honda Integra in global markets. In the US, it was called the Acura RSX and sold only as a 3-door hatchback. A highlight of this generation was the 200hp RSX Type S, powered by the 2.0-liter K20 i-VTEC engine. Production ended in 2006.
The Integra nameplate is back. After a 21-year hiatus.
It took until 2023 for Acura to reintroduce the Integra nameplate. That is a 17 to 21-year hiatus, depending on whether you consider the RSX to be a spiritual successor to the original Integra or not.
Either way, the Integra is back and ready to challenge for a place among the modern crop of sporty sedans. Gone is the screaming naturally aspirated VTEC motor that so defined the original. In its place are a pair of turbocharged 4-cylinder motors that employ the latest VTEC technology to produce up to 320hp in the range-topping Type S.
The base 1.5-liter still puts out an impressive 200hp and will get to 60mph in around 7 seconds. The Type S does it in just 5 seconds. That makes it the quickest Integra ever. Both models can be had with a manual transmission and are fitted with a limited-slip differential. Two things that are always a top priority on any driving enthusiast’s list.
How Much HP Did The Integra Type R Have?
The US-spec third-generation Integra Type R produced 195hp from just 1.8 liters. All without the aid of turbocharging. The Acura RSX that replaced it made 210hp from its 2.0-liter engine. Both used VTEC variable cam timing to produce their remarkable outputs.
How Much HP Will The 2024 Integra Have?
The 2023 Integra is available with a 200hp 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. While that is already 5hp more than the original Type R managed, technology has moved on, and the new range-topper for 2024 is the 320hp Integra Type S.
Its 2.0-liter engine may use turbocharging, but both new Integra models are still equipped with VTEC, albeit in a form that optimizes both performance and economy. And they produce torque figures that were unheard of back in those pre-turbo days.
How Can You Increase The HP Of Your Integra?
Power is great. More power is better. Even though both the new and older Integra models produce class-leading levels of power, there is always room for a few extra horses under the hood.
That’s why Thermal R&D has designed a range of performance exhausts for popular Integra models.
Every exhaust we make comes with our drone-free True Helmholtz Technology. That means you get extra performance and enhanced sound without the irritating droning you find in many aftermarket exhausts. Upgrading To A Thermal R&D exhaust:
- Enhances the exhaust sound
- Improves performance and economy
- Typically saves weight
- Adds a custom look to your ride
All our exhausts are built in the USA from top-quality materials like T304 stainless steel. And we use advanced methods like mandrel bending to deliver the best-looking and performing systems. Some of our most popular Integra exhaust systems include:
|Acura Integra 3-Door Catback Exhaust
|Acura Integra 4-door Catback Exhaust
|Acura Integra Front Pipe Back Exhaust (Black coated tips)
|Acura Integra Front Pipe Back Exhaust (Polished tips)
Performance engines like the VTEC units used in Integra models can benefit greatly from freer-flowing exhaust systems. For more information on what an upgraded exhaust can do for your car, read about it in our blog here.
What Other Integra Upgrades Are There?
An exhaust upgrade is a great way to unleash the sound and power of your Integra. And there are a few more upgrades that can enhance the power and handling of your car even further:
Cold Air Intakes: Allowing your intake system to breathe better is a great way to enhance the intake sound and performance of your engine.
ECU Tuning: Helps optimize power output in conjunction with exhaust and cold air intake upgrades. Works best on turbocharged engines.
Performance Braking System: Upgraded pads, rotors, and stainless steel brake lines bring better stopping power.
Body Kits, Suspension System, and Aftermarket Wheels: For a truly custom look, a body kit and set of aftermarket wheels will really help your Integra stand out from the crowd. Take note that while larger wheels and stiffer springs can enhance grip levels, they do tend to compromise the ride comfort.
Thermal R&D Builds Drone-Free Performance Exhaust Systems
Whether you're looking for improved performance, better sound, or just a better exhaust system, Thermal R&D has you covered. We develop our systems with True Helmholtz Technology and mandrel bent tubing – creating a drone-free sound without compromising performance.
Our products are made from durable, premium-quality materials like T304 stainless steel. And we offer a lifetime warranty. Our team of talented fabricators and finishers build exhaust systems in the USA to fit a wide variety of cars and trucks, including popular enthusiast models like the Integra and less common niche vehicles other companies won't touch.