Automotive & Aftermarket News

Acura Announces the Return of the Integra—Potentially Sparking a Sport Compact Renaissance

While we didn’t see much of the actual car, this concept sketch revealed that it’ll have the debossed “Integra” name below the front headlight—a nice styling throwback to its earlier generations. (Image/Acura)

The Acura Integra was one of the flagships of the sport compact car scene that erupted in the 1990s. Many gearheads aspired to drive them when new, and after the nameplate was dropped in 2001, Integras were perhaps the hottest sport compacts in the used car market.

A fourth-gen Integra technically appeared on U.S. shores from 2002-06 as well, just rechristened the Acura RSX.

And the moment the Integra disappeared, automotive enthusiasts began pressuring Acura to bring it back. Now about two decades later, the automaker is going to deliver.

While the announcement was brief, Acura did describe the car as “a new compact premium entrant.” That hopefully means the Integra will stay true to its roots as a small car with a high-revving engine and razor-sharp handling. (Oh, and a manual transmission too—are you listening Acura?)

For sport compact fans in the 1990s, the Integra Type R was at the top of the heap. It was essentially a factory race car that could go toe-to-toe with sports cars well above its price range. Nowadays, unmolested models can sell for some serious scratch. (Image/Honda)

Why is this a big deal? Our hope is that a new Acura Integra reenergizes a sport compact segment that’s been shrinking lately. Sure, the stalwart Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX, and Volkswagen GTI are still hanging around, and we’re excited to see the N Line from Hyundai continue to evolve…

But a few major players have retreated in recent years. The Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST are gone. So is the Nissan SE-R Spec V. It’s been over a decade since we saw a new Dodge SRT-4. Same deal with the Toyota Celica GTS.

Perhaps this new Integra will encourage other automakers to bring the heat back into the sport compact scene?

We’ll find out soon enough, as Acura says the new Integra will arrive in 2022.

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