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Acura has big plans for the new Integra. The brand plans to use the new Acura Integra (or more likely the Type R version) to compete with the fast subcompact segment, just like they did more than a decade ago. However, what if you take one of those older Integras and make it, well, stupid fast? David Patterson got to find out.

With 500 hp and AWD, it’s almost a certainty that this decades-old Integra will take the new car to Gapplebee’s.

Just how fast is this Acura Integra?

The front headlight of the new Acura Integra in white
The Acura Integra Teaser Sketch | Acura

So, let’s start with the obvious. How exactly does this modified Acura Integra make all 500 of those horses? Well, in very typical Honda fashion as it turns out. Enthusiasts refer to it as a “K-swap,” shorthand for swapping in one of Honda’s famously reliable and tunable K-series of motors. Of course, there’s also your usual built internals and a turbo for extra power. The K20 from the Acura RSX is an obvious choice, finding its way into this build.

The builder who loaned Dave (ThatDudeInBlue) the car also mated the new motor to a six-speed manual transmission using a Honda CRV transmission housing of all things. It’s actually a rather common tactic, as the CRV is one of only a smattering of AWD Honda models. However, what isn’t clear is why the builder would choose to make the car right-hand drive. We’ll chalk it up to JDM enthusiasm.

Modifying an old Integra probably isn’t worth it

The engine bay of a Honda Civic Type R in red
Honda’s famous K20 engine is ridiculously moddable | National Motor Museum via Getty Images

As cool as this 500 hp AWD Acura Integra is, it’s also an almost totally bespoke car, which poses its own downsides as compared to what the new car will be. Obviously, there really aren’t a whole lot of shops willing to maintain someone else’s project. There certainly won’t be a warranty for the Integra in Dave’s video.

A lot of hobby builders talk about a car being “turn-key,” slang for a totally solid, reliable, usable car. Thing is, new cars are actually “turn-key,” not to knock the obvious talents of the builder of this Integra. Reliability in a new car is more of a known quantity. With the new Acura Integra predicted to turn out around 300 hp to the front wheels, we’re willing to bet it’ll feel plenty fast.

The Integra is coming back and it’ll be better than ever

The rear of the new Acura Integra in white
The new Integra certainly won’t have 500 hp | Acura

Projects like the one in Dave’s video certainly have their place in the automotive world. They’re someone’s passion for cars incarnate. That’s an impressive thing. But one also can’t decry the “turn-key” reliability of a new car. The new Acura Integra promises to be the start of a resurgence of JDM compacts, and the Type R variant will surely take the performance factor to 11. However, 500 hp and AWD is surely worth the work, as long as you know what you’re doing.


New Acura Integra Reveals Manual Transmission