The Controversial 2023 Acura Integra Is a Marketing Tactic Disguised as a Hot Hatch

  • The Acura Integra will shepard new buyers to EVs
  • Acura doesn’t have EVs yet, but it will in 2024
  • The 2023 Integra is a great car to be “stuck” with while we wait for EVs

Seems like every new car these days debuts with some form of controversy, doesn’t it? The 2022 Subaru WRX’s looks are much-discussed (and much disliked), and the BMW M3’s kidney grilles are still a topic of discussion. Well, the 2023 Acura Integra has also gotten its fair share of controversy. Now, the new Acura is about to get some more.

The 2023 Acura Integra is one of the last gas Acura models

A yellow 2023 Acura Integra on stage at its debut in Los Angeles
The new Integra | Acura

RELATED: This 500 HP AWD Acura Integra Is Sure to Be Faster Than the New Integra

As we well know by now, the new Integra will be one of the last gas cars before Acura goes all-in on EVs. But the logic for that is what’s truly clever here. It’s a bit of inside industry baseball, and a pretty common tactic to be honest. Recently, Acura’s assistant VP of national sales (mouthful, we know) told Automotive News “The benefit of returning to the Integra right now is that it’s going to help shepherd a new generation of customers and build loyalty as we move into a new era…”

That era is, of course, the EV era. Put in non-corporate speak, that means the 2023 Acura Integra is a marketing tool for the brand. It’s designed to bring in young buyers, perhaps those who have yet to buy their first new car and keep them loyal to Acura as the brand shifts to EVs. Obviously, for this to work, that means the Integra needs to kill it. Let’s hope.

Acura doesn’t have an EV yet- but it will

Acura brand officer Jon Ikeda at the debut of the new Acura Integra
Jon Ikeda, Acura Brand Officer | Acura

Presently, there’s only a small handful of electric Acuras. They aren’t even EVs. We all know about the killer Acura NSX Type S, the last NSX (for now). Then there’s the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SUV and the Acura RLX sedan. As for a full EV Acura? Honda has confirmed that’ll release in 2024. Presumably, that’ll be presented alongside the new Integra for the last few years of that car’s life.

Obviously, that means there’ll soon be an EV Acura sedan to match. For now, we’re “stuck” with the 2023 Acura Integra. Controversy be dammed, it’s a great car to be “stuck” with. It’ll be (relatively) cheap and has all the great driveline parts from the critically-acclaimed Honda Civic Si. That means a 1.5L turbo four, LSD, and 6-speed manual transmission. Screw the styling, we’re here for it. We know the Integra was never going to be the rose-tinted 2-door of yesteryear.

Acura/Honda has hybrids, but will skip straight to EVs

A grey Acura MDX hybrid and an Acura NSX shot at night
The era of Acura hybrids is coming to a close | Acura

Of course, that means hybrids like the Acura NSX Type S will soon be phased out as well. It’s part of the EV shift we’re all seeing the start off. Best get used to it. But with cars like the Honda Civic Si and 2023 Acura Integra, it’s a great time to be a fan of all things gears and gas.

RELATED: The 2023 Acura Integra Has People Really Upset for Some Reason