Acura Releases Another 2023 Integra Teaser – Controversy Ensues
It’s a 5-Door Hatchback
Last month, Acura teased a closeup image of the new front end on the upcoming 2023 Integra. The news sent fans into a frenzy, generating no shortage of theories and rendered images of what the car may look like. Now over a month later, Acura has released another teaser image, this time of the rear, indicating that the new Integra will arrive in the form of a five-door hatchback. Once again, fans are in a frenzy, but it seems that many are disappointed at the absence of a three-door hatchback variant. Let’s take a deep dive under the surface to see what’s up.
It’s important to note that the first three Integra generations were offered in variations of both three and five-door hatchbacks and four-door sedans. The fourth generation, known as the RSX here in the United States, was only offered as a three-door hatchback. Some fans argue that the US version of the DC2 Integra Type R, which only came as a three-door hatchback, is reason enough that the new Integra should only come with that form factor as well. What many don’t know is that the third generation Integra also received the Type R treatment as a four-door sedan, known as the DB8 Integra Type R. Although it was only offered in Japan, it did exist, and so it seems that Acura have found four doors more suitable for today’s compact car market.
Some design cues we can gather from the new teaser image give us insight into what we can expect from the successor to what many journalists have called “the best front-wheel drive car of all time.” Though the new Integra is based off the Civic hatchback platform, the Integra’s sleek roofline looks as though it’s lower than its larger cousin. We can’t help but be reminded of Mercedes’s four-door coupe, the AMG GT 63. That car also has a low-slung roofline but maintains four passenger doors. Although not the most comfortable for taller passengers in the rear (due to reduced headroom), the additional rear doors do add a bit of utility to an otherwise sport-focused design.
Looking past the number of doors, the rear bumper harkens back to Integras of old with the embossed name under the right taillight. They’ve also brought back the notched hatch handle area beneath the Acura emblem. Were it not for these small touches, the design overall looks very similar to the rest of Acura’s lineup – almost like what a TLX would look like if it got the Mercedes four-door coupe treatment.
Although the rear taillights are narrow and long, they look a bit more Hyundai Genesis Coupe than the flat-backed Integra generations of the past. The third brake light is also located at the top of the rear hatch glass. While this may seem like a moot point, its location hints that a future Type S variant of the new Integra likely won’t see a large rear wing, as it would block the third brake light from certain angles. Most cars that come from the factory with large wings, from the Civic Type R to the WRX STI to the Japanese version of the RSX Type S, all have third brake lights on the trunk lid, on the wing itself, or as part of the diffuser area. We suspect the teaser photos show off the base model Integra, but wonder if Acura will be taking the radical approach it has taken in the past with the Type S variant.
Acura has been super tight-lipped about the 2023 Integra. With only two official teaser images, no information has made its way out of the luxury automaker with regards to engine or drivetrain options. However, we do have rumors from self-proclaimed insiders stating that the base model Integra will come with a 200 hp 1.5-liter turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission and cost around $33,000. While 200 hp is low by modern standards, especially considering the new GR 86 and BRZ have 228 hp and cost less, it does seem in line with current Civic offerings.
The base 2022 Civic comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 180 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque on 87-octane regular fuel. It doesn’t seem unlikely that a more expensive Integra based on the same engine and platform would receive a slightly higher powered unit running on premium fuel. While the rumors have addressed base trim Integras, they haven’t mentioned anything about the Type S. We suspect the Type S will come equipped with the upcoming Civic Type R’s engine (over 300 hp) and use Acura’s SH-AWD system. Paired with a six-speed manual, the Type S seems more in-line with what enthusiasts are looking for. We’ll just have to wait for Acura to spill the beans in Spring 2022!