Acura Integra

The Acura Integra, sold as a Honda in most of the world, is a small, sporty vehicle sold primarily as a coupe. It is Acura's smallest, least expensive model, designed to offer a competitor to vehicles like Volkswagen's Golf GTI, which was the most well known and popular "hot hatch" of the 1980s when the Integra was introduced. Although a sedan was available for several years, the 4-door body was dropped when the vehicle transitioned to its current fourth-generation "DC5" platform, which is now sold as the RSX in North America.

First Generation 1985-1989

First Generation Integra

The vehicle debuted in Japan in 1985 as the Honda Integra before going on sale a year later in North America as part of the then-new Acura lineup. Three and 5-door hatchback bodies as well as a traditional four-door sedan were available, with a 1.6 L DOHC 16-valve engine powering all three. The engine was the vehicle's most publicized feature, as twin-cam, multi-valve engines were anything but commonplace in entry-level models at the time.

The Integra shared its platform with the less-sporty Civic, although it featured a small list of key upgrades over its lesser stablemate to help merit a price increase over the CRX Si, which was otherwise the sportiest compact vehicle being offered by Honda/Acura; enlarged 4-wheel disc brakes replaced the small front-disc/rear-drum setup used by the Civic and CRX, suspension calibration was re-worked, better tires were used and a 113 horsepower DOHC fuel injected 16-valve engine was used in place of the SOHC, 90 horsepower unit from the CRX Si. Combined with sleeker styling and a nicer interior, buyers were effectivly convinced that the Integra was worth the extra money, and nearly 228,000 units were sold during the five year run of the first generation model.

The model was not without its shortcomings though; despite having 113 horsepower and a reachable 7,000 RPM redline, the new twin-cam engine had little torque and needed to be wound up quite a bit to make full power, leading to criticism that the model wasn't well-suited for day to day driving on surface streets, but was better tuned for spirited driving down tight, windy roads.

Second Generation 1990-1993

Second Generation Integra

Acura debuted the second generation Integra in 1990, now powered by a new 1.8 litre engine making 130 horsepower, giving the model a necessary boost in performance. The three-door hatchback and 4-door sedan body styles continued to be available, but the 5-door hatch was discontinued due to poor market reception.

Trim levels for 1990 and 1991 included the RS (base model), LS, and GS. The GS model could also be had with a leather interior, which made it a sort of "deluxe" model, and featured its own model number.

For 1992 Honda added the GS-R trim level, powered by a de-stroked, 1.7 litre version of the standard engine with the VTEC system from the then-new NSX added-on, bumping output to 160 horsepower. Other small updates came on at the same time, namely new front and rear bumpers, a new steering wheel, new rear turn signals, new ECU, chromed interior door handles and an increase in power to 140 for the non-VTEC engine. Honda had already used the vtec system in the b16a engines in the late 80s which are a predacessor to the b17 engine.

The second generation was the last Integra to be sold without airbags in the United States. Motorized "passive" seat belts were used instead. Canada and the rest of the world got regular seat belts.

This generation also saw Acura make a bit of a marketing shift. Prior to the 1991 model year, Acura had made a minor point of the supposed understated elegance of minimal exterior badging. Therefore, from 1986 to 1990 the only external clues to any Integra's identity came at the rear, where badges for "Acura" "Integra", and the trim level appeared. For the 1991 model year however, Acura's "A" logo appeared for the very first time on the front of the hood, as well as between the taillights. Every Integra made since then has had the "A" badges.

  • 262,285 units sold from 1990-1993

Third Generation 1994-1997

Acura debuted the third generation model in 1994, now based on the all-new Civic chassis that had been introduced in '92. Standard horsepower increased to 142, and the GS-R recieved a dual-stage intake manifold and a displacment boost to 1.8 litre, bringing horsepower up to 170.

A Type R model was added for the 1997 model year, powered by a highly tuned, hand-finished variant of the GS-R's powerplant producing 195 horsepower, meaning it made more hp per litre than the Ferrari F355's V8. Although impressive, the Type R was still hampered by some criticism; its maximum torque output was only 130 ft·lbs, and maximum output could not be achieved until 7000 RPM, meaning that the engine was only performing at peak between 7,000 RPM and its 8,400 RPM redline. Although the engine's "split personality" and unusually high capability to rev made it popular among hardcore enthusiasts, it cost the vehicle points in comparison tests where drivers noted that the vehicle was too hard-edged, loud and rev-hungry to be an easy daily driver.

Fourth Generation 1998-2001

Despite some popular demand for a new Integra model for 1998, Acura chose to give the third-generation model a slight facelift and rerelease it. The 1998 Integra had slightly larger headlights and a more aggressive front bumper. It also has all-red taillights and a revised rear bumper. The GS-R edition received 5-spoke "blade" style wheels as a stylistic change.

Once again, the Type-R saw a limited release in the US.

Type R

The Type R was the pinnacle of the Integra line. It had many exclusive features found on no other Integra.

The B18C5 Type R engine contained more key differences than just some manual assembly steps and an increased redline. The B16A's cylinder head returned for an encore, with differently shaped combustion chambers and intake ports compared to the regular B18C in the GS-R. Molybdenum-coated, high compression pistons and stronger-but-lighter connecting rods strengthened the reciprocating assembly. Two extra counterweights on the crankshaft altered its vibration modes to enhance durability at high RPM. The intake valves were reshaped with a thinner stem and crown that reduced weight and improved flow. The intake ports were given a minor port and polish. Stiffer valve springs resisted float on more aggressive camshafts. Intake air was now drawn from inside the fender well, for a colder, denser charge. That intake fed a short-runner intake manifold with a larger throttle body for better breathing. An improved stainless steel exhaust collector with more gentle merge angles, a change to a larger, consistent piping diameter, flared internal piping in the muffler allowed easier exit of gasses. A retuned engine computer also contributed to improve power output.

The transmission was upgraded with lower and closer gear ratios in second through fifth gears, in order to take advantage of the additional rev range. The American version retained the same 4.4 final drive throughout the Type R's production run, unlike the Japanese market version, which in 1998 changed to a 4.785 final drive along with revised gearing. The clutch disk has a slightly smaller swept area, for improved bite. The GS-R's open differential was replaced with a torque-sensing limited slip type.

The chassis received enhancements in the form of reinforcements to the rear wheel wells, roof rail, and other key areas. "Performance rods," chassis braces that were bolted in place, were added to the rear trunk wall and rear subframe. The front strut tower bar was replaced with a stronger aluminum piece. Camber rigidity was improved at the rear by increasing wheel bearing span by 10 mm. The Type R's body also received a new functional rear wing, body-colored rocker panels, and 5 bolt hubs with special lightweight Type-R wheels. Under those wheels was a much larger set of disk brakes front and back. The tires were upgraded to Bridgestone RE010 "summer" tires.

The Type R received very aggressive tuning in its suspension settings. All soft rubber bushings were replaced with much stiffer versions, as much as 5.3 times higher in durometer readings. The springs and dampers were much stiffer, with a 10 mm reduction in ride height. The rear anti-roll bar diameter was increased to 22 mm in diameter. The front anti-roll bar retained the same size, although the end links were changed to a more responsive sealed ball joint as opposed to a rubber bushing on the lesser models. The result was a chassis with very responsive, racetrack-ready handling that ably absorbed mid-corner bumps well. Mild oversteer was easy to induce with a lift of the throttle, and during steady-state cornering the car maintained a slight tail-out stance.

The interior was stripped down to reduce weight. The air conditioning system was removed and nearly all the sound-dampening material was eliminated. This provided for a much noisier ride, but since the Type-R was a racecar for the street, most owners didn't mind. The Type R was a no-compromise sports car, and it showed the world what Honda was capable of.

  • 301,103 Units sold from 1994-2001 - 2005555

Replacement for Acura Integra

The fourth generation Integra, produced from 2002 onwards, has been renamed the Acura RSX. The new name conforms to Acura's new naming scheme for all cars in its line up (e.g. NSX, TSX, MDX, etc). It also has an entirely new engine, the K-series, which is considered by some to be the best engine Honda has ever released.

Awards

The Integra was on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list six times, in 1987, 1988, and 1994 through 1997. The GS-R model was called out specifically in 1994 and 1995. It made a return on the Ten Best as the Acura RSX for 2002 and 2003


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It made a return on the Ten Best as the Acura RSX for 2002 and 2003. External-frame models have vanished completely from the British Isles, but in the United States, some manufacturers continue to produce them. The GS-R model was called out specifically in 1994 and 1995. Today, internal-frame packs are generally more common. The Integra was on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list six times, in 1987, 1988, and 1994 through 1997. External-frame packs, on the other hand, have historically boasted better load capacity, and better comfort for steady walking, but internal-frame models have improved greatly in these respects. It also has an entirely new engine, the K-series, which is considered by some to be the best engine Honda has ever released. Internal-frame packs are best suited for skiing and other forms activities that involve upper-body movement.

NSX, TSX, MDX, etc). Compression sacks allow sleeping bags to be reduced in size dramatically. The new name conforms to Acura's new naming scheme for all cars in its line up (e.g. Sleeping bags are a particularly difficult case, as they are very bulky and take up a large part of an internal-frame pack's storage space. The fourth generation Integra, produced from 2002 onwards, has been renamed the Acura RSX. Internal-frame packs may provide a few lash points, but it is difficult to lash a large item so that it stays rigid and does not bounce. The Type R was a no-compromise sports car, and it showed the world what Honda was capable of. Usually a fairly complex series of straps works with the frame to distribute the weight and hold it in place.

This provided for a much noisier ride, but since the Type-R was a racecar for the street, most owners didn't mind. The frame of internal-frame packs is contained entirely inside the pack and consists of strips of either a specially designed polymer or a metal that molds to one's back to provide a good fit. The air conditioning system was removed and nearly all the sound-dampening material was eliminated. The main compartment is smaller than that of internal-frame packs, because bulky items (tents, sleeping bags, thermal pads) are strapped to the outside of the pack. The interior was stripped down to reduce weight. The fabric part of the pack is stretched along part of the frame's length, but the frame protrudes above and below. Mild oversteer was easy to induce with a lift of the throttle, and during steady-state cornering the car maintained a slight tail-out stance. The frame has a system of straps and pads to keep the sack and the metal parts from contacting the body, with the added benefit of improved ventilation and decreased sweatiness.

The result was a chassis with very responsive, racetrack-ready handling that ably absorbed mid-corner bumps well. An external-frame pack is constructed around a metal (usually aluminium) frame. The front anti-roll bar retained the same size, although the end links were changed to a more responsive sealed ball joint as opposed to a rubber bushing on the lesser models. External-frame packs are the older of the two designs and have been in use for at least the past 50 years. The rear anti-roll bar diameter was increased to 22 mm in diameter. Packs are typically about 3 feet (1 m) tall. The springs and dampers were much stiffer, with a 10 mm reduction in ride height. Almost all packs, especially external-frame models, have lash points on the exterior, so that bulky items may be strapped on.

All soft rubber bushings were replaced with much stiffer versions, as much as 5.3 times higher in durometer readings. Packs generally have many pockets on the outside, and the main compartment may even be subdivided. The Type R received very aggressive tuning in its suspension settings. This reduces shoulder fatigue, since the pelvis is sturdier, and also improves the hiker's agility. The tires were upgraded to Bridgestone RE010 "summer" tires. In addition to the two shoulder straps, modern packs always have a padded hip belt, which carries most of the pack's weight. Under those wheels was a much larger set of disk brakes front and back. They come in two main designs: internal-frame and external-frame.

The Type R's body also received a new functional rear wing, body-colored rocker panels, and 5 bolt hubs with special lightweight Type-R wheels. Backpacks designed for backpacking (often just called packs) are more complex than ordinary varieties. Camber rigidity was improved at the rear by increasing wheel bearing span by 10 mm. Compare purse. The front strut tower bar was replaced with a stronger aluminum piece. Shoulders are better suited for bearing heavy weights for long periods of time than the hand, so backpacks are often used for that purpose. "Performance rods," chassis braces that were bolted in place, were added to the rear trunk wall and rear subframe. A backpack (also called a rucksack [from German Rücken - back, Sack - bag] or knapsack) is, in its simplest form, a cloth sack carried on one's back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders and below the armpits.

The chassis received enhancements in the form of reinforcements to the rear wheel wells, roof rail, and other key areas. The GS-R's open differential was replaced with a torque-sensing limited slip type. The clutch disk has a slightly smaller swept area, for improved bite. The American version retained the same 4.4 final drive throughout the Type R's production run, unlike the Japanese market version, which in 1998 changed to a 4.785 final drive along with revised gearing.

The transmission was upgraded with lower and closer gear ratios in second through fifth gears, in order to take advantage of the additional rev range. A retuned engine computer also contributed to improve power output. An improved stainless steel exhaust collector with more gentle merge angles, a change to a larger, consistent piping diameter, flared internal piping in the muffler allowed easier exit of gasses. That intake fed a short-runner intake manifold with a larger throttle body for better breathing.

Intake air was now drawn from inside the fender well, for a colder, denser charge. Stiffer valve springs resisted float on more aggressive camshafts. The intake ports were given a minor port and polish. The intake valves were reshaped with a thinner stem and crown that reduced weight and improved flow.

Two extra counterweights on the crankshaft altered its vibration modes to enhance durability at high RPM. Molybdenum-coated, high compression pistons and stronger-but-lighter connecting rods strengthened the reciprocating assembly. The B16A's cylinder head returned for an encore, with differently shaped combustion chambers and intake ports compared to the regular B18C in the GS-R. The B18C5 Type R engine contained more key differences than just some manual assembly steps and an increased redline.

It had many exclusive features found on no other Integra. The Type R was the pinnacle of the Integra line. Once again, the Type-R saw a limited release in the US. The GS-R edition received 5-spoke "blade" style wheels as a stylistic change.

It also has all-red taillights and a revised rear bumper. The 1998 Integra had slightly larger headlights and a more aggressive front bumper. Despite some popular demand for a new Integra model for 1998, Acura chose to give the third-generation model a slight facelift and rerelease it. Although the engine's "split personality" and unusually high capability to rev made it popular among hardcore enthusiasts, it cost the vehicle points in comparison tests where drivers noted that the vehicle was too hard-edged, loud and rev-hungry to be an easy daily driver.

Although impressive, the Type R was still hampered by some criticism; its maximum torque output was only 130 ft·lbs, and maximum output could not be achieved until 7000 RPM, meaning that the engine was only performing at peak between 7,000 RPM and its 8,400 RPM redline. A Type R model was added for the 1997 model year, powered by a highly tuned, hand-finished variant of the GS-R's powerplant producing 195 horsepower, meaning it made more hp per litre than the Ferrari F355's V8. Standard horsepower increased to 142, and the GS-R recieved a dual-stage intake manifold and a displacment boost to 1.8 litre, bringing horsepower up to 170. Acura debuted the third generation model in 1994, now based on the all-new Civic chassis that had been introduced in '92.

Every Integra made since then has had the "A" badges. For the 1991 model year however, Acura's "A" logo appeared for the very first time on the front of the hood, as well as between the taillights. Therefore, from 1986 to 1990 the only external clues to any Integra's identity came at the rear, where badges for "Acura" "Integra", and the trim level appeared. Prior to the 1991 model year, Acura had made a minor point of the supposed understated elegance of minimal exterior badging.

This generation also saw Acura make a bit of a marketing shift. Canada and the rest of the world got regular seat belts. Motorized "passive" seat belts were used instead. The second generation was the last Integra to be sold without airbags in the United States.

Honda had already used the vtec system in the b16a engines in the late 80s which are a predacessor to the b17 engine. Other small updates came on at the same time, namely new front and rear bumpers, a new steering wheel, new rear turn signals, new ECU, chromed interior door handles and an increase in power to 140 for the non-VTEC engine. For 1992 Honda added the GS-R trim level, powered by a de-stroked, 1.7 litre version of the standard engine with the VTEC system from the then-new NSX added-on, bumping output to 160 horsepower. The GS model could also be had with a leather interior, which made it a sort of "deluxe" model, and featured its own model number.

Trim levels for 1990 and 1991 included the RS (base model), LS, and GS. The three-door hatchback and 4-door sedan body styles continued to be available, but the 5-door hatch was discontinued due to poor market reception. Acura debuted the second generation Integra in 1990, now powered by a new 1.8 litre engine making 130 horsepower, giving the model a necessary boost in performance. The model was not without its shortcomings though; despite having 113 horsepower and a reachable 7,000 RPM redline, the new twin-cam engine had little torque and needed to be wound up quite a bit to make full power, leading to criticism that the model wasn't well-suited for day to day driving on surface streets, but was better tuned for spirited driving down tight, windy roads.

Combined with sleeker styling and a nicer interior, buyers were effectivly convinced that the Integra was worth the extra money, and nearly 228,000 units were sold during the five year run of the first generation model. The Integra shared its platform with the less-sporty Civic, although it featured a small list of key upgrades over its lesser stablemate to help merit a price increase over the CRX Si, which was otherwise the sportiest compact vehicle being offered by Honda/Acura; enlarged 4-wheel disc brakes replaced the small front-disc/rear-drum setup used by the Civic and CRX, suspension calibration was re-worked, better tires were used and a 113 horsepower DOHC fuel injected 16-valve engine was used in place of the SOHC, 90 horsepower unit from the CRX Si. The engine was the vehicle's most publicized feature, as twin-cam, multi-valve engines were anything but commonplace in entry-level models at the time. Three and 5-door hatchback bodies as well as a traditional four-door sedan were available, with a 1.6 L DOHC 16-valve engine powering all three.

The vehicle debuted in Japan in 1985 as the Honda Integra before going on sale a year later in North America as part of the then-new Acura lineup. . Although a sedan was available for several years, the 4-door body was dropped when the vehicle transitioned to its current fourth-generation "DC5" platform, which is now sold as the RSX in North America. It is Acura's smallest, least expensive model, designed to offer a competitor to vehicles like Volkswagen's Golf GTI, which was the most well known and popular "hot hatch" of the 1980s when the Integra was introduced.

The Acura Integra, sold as a Honda in most of the world, is a small, sporty vehicle sold primarily as a coupe. 301,103 Units sold from 1994-2001 - 2005555. 262,285 units sold from 1990-1993.

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