Did the 2023 Acura Integra Reveal Fall Short of Its 90s Glory?

The Acura Integra is a legend in the car world, not because of some super limited production (except the Type R) or having gobs of power, actually the complete opposite. The Acura Integra was an affordable car for the masses that could be easily modded to be a street racing demon. Yesterday, the 2023 Acura Integra Prototype was officially revealed, but there isn’t much that screams “prototype.” Can the 2023 Acura Integra stand up to its 90s glory? 

2023 Acura Integra Prototype painted in Indy Yellow Pearl photographed inside a parking garage. This prototype will be the base for the 2023 Acura Integra
2023 Acura Integra Prototype side view | Acura

What do we know about the 2023 Acura Integra so far? 

According to Car and Driver, the new Integra will replace the outgoing Acura ILX. Rolling on the same chassis as the Honda Civic Si, it also shares the same 1.5-liter turbocharged four-pot and limited-slip diff. So far, it seems like Acura is just giving us a slightly re-bodied Civic Si. 

Acura has yet to provide any power details, but it’s safe to assume it will be somewhere around the 200-hp mark. Lastly, the six-speed manual transmission is making a comeback in the 2023 Integra. The list of Honda Civic Si’s shared features continues with the Civic Si’s rev-matching system. However, there will be an automatic transmission option, as well. 

 The 2023 Integra is losing steam quickly

2023 Acura Integra Prototype painted in Indy Yellow Pearl photographed inside a parking garage. This prototype will be the base for the 2023 Acura Integra
2023 Acura Integra Prototype | Acura

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Ok. Aside from the 2023 Acura Integra feeling an awful lot like a Civic Si, there is also the issue of the underwhelming looks. If Acura is going to call it a prototype, why not take some risk? Give us something that inspires and excites, not just a Civic Si with another forgettable body design. 

The previous generation Integras weren’t the most aggressive-looking cars on the road, but they were distinct. The earlier versions had their own style and felt like something someone could be proud to own. This new Integra feels like yet another formless, computer-designed car body that would be hard to pick out of a lineup in 2021. 

To be clear, I’m not saying it isn’t pleasant; It just feels like nothing, or maybe better yet, it feels like everything else. To take an icon like the Acura Integra and give it such plainclothes feels underwhelming and upsetting. 

The 2023 Acura Integra looks like a copyright-proof car from Grand Theft Auto. I mean that it seems like a safe amalgamation of various semi-sporty cars that already exist. 

The pinched back end is the 2021 Toyota Supra. The taillights are reminiscent of BMW 4-Series. The front end, headlights, and grille feel like a mix of the old ILX and an Audi. The point is, there is little here that sparks the same enthusiasm as the design cues from some of the earlier generations. 

There’s one cool design element of the new Integra

2023 Acura Integra Prototype painted in Indy Yellow Pearl photographed inside a parking garage. This prototype will be the base for the 2023 Acura Integra
2023 Acura Integra Prototype rear view | Acura

Out of all the borrowed bits and bobs and the amorphous design, it’s easy to get discouraged in the lack of creativity coming from the new car market, but take a look at the back end of the 2023 Acura Integra. The color-matching interior of the exhaust pipe is a little goofy, but it is at least very creative and unique. It is small design cues like this that the current car market is missing. Design cues like this made car designs from the ‘30s-’60s so much more inspiring. Many car lovers simply want more passion and risk in new car designs. Everything feels the same. It all feels safe. These little pops of color are the only part of the 2023 Acura Integra that has any heart.

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