• The Acura Integra Was Benchmarked Against Some Unlikely Competitors

The 2023 Acura Integra is hell-bent on going premium, as confired by a recent Q&A session with Lead Product Planner

The Acura Integra was one of the most anticipated nameplates and after 22 years, it made a comeback for the 2023 model year. While the five-door liftback body style is still a divisive subject, a Q&A session with Lead Product Planner, Jonathon Rivers, in the forum Integra Talk, revealed previously unknown details about the development of the new Aura Integra. Acura’s recent work has made it clear that it wants to be a performance luxury brand. As such, the 2023 Integra was benchmarked against some rather unlikely competitors.

The Acura Integra Was Benchmarked Against Some Unlikely Competitors
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While many wished the new Integra was a front-wheel-drive coupe, inspired by the original, it turns out it could have been much worse. Jonathon Rivers disclosed that selling the Integra as a five-door liftback was touchy in a market saturated by crossovers and SUVs. “Most of us knew that it was the right move for the brand, but it still took a lot of PowerPoints and heated discussions,” Rivers said.

While the Mazda 3 seems like the most logical choice for comparison with the new Integra, Johnathon Rivers also revealed that “In terms of driving dynamics, we focused directly on the premium compact sedans in this segment, namely Audi A3, Mercedes CLA and A220, and BMW 228i Gran Coupe”. While not the most obvious choice, it only makes sense, given Acura’s strife to become a worthy premium alternative to the German trio.

The Acura Integra Was Benchmarked Against Some Unlikely Competitors
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The Acura Integra has only just entered the market, and as such, there is still plenty of speculation about future versions of the model. One forum member asked Rivers whether there will be a base version of the Integra with a manual transmission. For now, the six-speed manual is offered only on the range-topping A-Spec with the Technology package, which brings the price up to $35,800. The decision to include the manual option for the top trim came from customer feedback. As for a base, manual version of the Integra, there won’t be one, at least for now.

The Acura Integra Was Benchmarked Against Some Unlikely Competitors
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Speculation about an all-wheel-drive, hybrid version of the Acura Integra was also put to rest by Rivers. That information was erroneously leaked by a dealer, just before Integra’s arrival in showrooms. Even before the official unveiling of the model, there was speculation about the engine options for the Integra. Of course, many wonder whether there will be a high-performance Type-S or Type-R variant, to which Rivers refrained from comment, indicating that something may be in the works.

Source: Integra Talk

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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