Quick Drive: Acura Integra Type S

+ The Acura Integra Type S is significantly more hard-edged than the Integra upon which it’s based.  (photos: Acura)

+ The engine has been upsized to 2.0 liters, the turbocharged unit puts out 320 horsepower, and, together with the active exhaust, the Type S makes some pretty entertaining sounds while achieving those figures over and over again. It also does more than just hit impressive peak figures and sound racy too as its strong low-RPM torque allows it to dig itself out of a low-speed turn and the high-RPM power peak encourages you to spin it all the way up to the redline.

+ There is no automatic offering, but this six-speed manual drivetrain couldn’t be easier to operate. The clutch pedal is good at communicating what’s happening in front and can quickly engage to the fly-wheel with far more authority than in the standard Integra. The Type S also utilizes a close-ratio gear set for your shifting pleasure.

+ The engine’s rev-matching feature takes the guessing game or added challenge out of nailing a perfect throttle-blip downshift under braking every time, or at least when you’re with others in the car. It also works on upshifts too, however, the system can’t be turned on or off while on the move. For reference, the Toyota Corolla GR has a dedicated physical button on the dash.

+ Getting power to the ground is the responsibility of the redesigned front suspension that effectively quells any torque steer and the mechanical limited-slip differential to prevent the inside tire from evaporating. Combined with the uniquely-tuned stability control system, the chassis feels incredibly well-balanced and manageable along familiar mountain roads even when pushed hard. The body’s increased rigidity also aids with the ability of the adaptive dampers to deliver a reasonably smooth everyday ride. 

+ The steering rack provides excellent feedback and its accuracy makes hitting your turn’s apex (or making minute changes) feels just as easy as thinking about it. 

+ The exterior styling upgrades speak to the Type S’ added performance over the standard model with bulged fender flares that cover the wider stance and light-weight 19-inch wheels, functional hood vents, and larger frontal open area for additional powertrain and brake cooling performance. The interior’s perforated suede sport seats, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and upgraded shift knob, bring the subtle performance theme inside. 

+ The Type S features all of the available equipment of the Integra A-Spec and more. That means a full roster of active safety equipment, a well-arranged nine-inch infotainment screen, and an ELS 16-speaker stereo that delivers the performance that we’ve come to expect from the Grammy-winning Elliot Scheiner-branded systems. 

– The hatchback design delivers a very practical cargo area, however, it also allows for a greater amount of interior road noise. Even in the standard Integra with all-season tires, the road noise was very intrusive over concrete highways and rough stretches of road marred by studded tires for decades. At least the Type S does not lose any of that sound deadening in a bid to remove some mass but, still, the noise isn’t quelled enough to really enjoy the musical clarity offered by the ELS sound system. 

Summary: The Acura Integra Type S delivers on the performance front without question. It proves to be more than just an effective tool for driving quickly. It is thoroughly engaging and it responds with the precision and quickness that enables one to quickly instill confidence and build a bond as it minimizes unnecessary distractions and allows you to focus on your imaginary racing line. The Integra Type S clearly comes from the same lineage of the TLX, MDX, and NSX Type S models that came before it and, despite its “entry” Type S status, it more than pulls its weight in terms of engagement and ultimate performance.

for more information on the Integra trim levels and pricing, visit: https://www.carsdirect.com/acura/integra

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