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After a period of dwindling sports car options, things are starting to look up. These days we have quite a few exciting options out there, including the Toyota GR Corolla and new Acura Integra Type S. These two Japanese hot hatches offer their own take on the modern sports car, but now we’re here to see how they compare head to head.

GR Corolla on track
2023 Toyota GR Corolla | Toyota

Comparing performance numbers in the GR Corolla and Integra Type S

Under the hood, the GR Corolla and Acura Integra Type S take different paths to the same place. In the Toyota, a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine churns out 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. In the hopped-up Morizo Edition, torque bumps to 295 lb-ft.

Meanwhile, the Acura Integra uses a more traditional 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo to provide its power. At 320 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, it beats out the GR Corolla on paper, but the Toyota has one key advantage that helps it draw level.

Integra Type S in white
Acura Integra Type S | Acura

All-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive

Despite the power deficit, the Toyota GR Corolla manages the same 4.9-second zero-to-60 mph sprint as the Integra Type S. That’s thanks to the Toyota’s unique GR-Four all-wheel drive system. This gives it the extra punch off the line that the front-wheel drive Acura can’t manage.

With three available torque-split options, the GR Corolla can send up to 70 percent of its power to the rear wheels. That helps with acceleration as weight shifts to the rear axle. By sending more torque to the rear, the weight transfer helps keep the rear wheels planted as they dig at the asphalt. This results in more confident acceleration than the front-drive-only Integra Type S can manage.

Even over the full quarter mile, the Integra Type S likely lags behind its Toyota competition. While we have no official numbers at this time, the Integra’s sister car, the Civic Type R, is a quarter-second behind the GR Corolla according to Car and Driver testing. With the two Honda-produced sports cars offering such similar performance, we expect nearly identical results when the Acura hits the track for testing.

All-hail the manual gearbox

2023 Toyota GR Corolla in red
Toyota GR Corolla | Toyota

Regardless of which camp you fall into, one thing we can all agree on is that hot hatches should have a manual transmission. Fortunately, both the Integra Type S and GR Corolla feature a six-speed three-pedal gearbox as the only transmission option. No dual-clutch automatics or ZF eight-speeds to be had here. Just good, old-fashioned, row-your-own-gears engagement in both of these hotly anticipated sports cars.

The Integra Type S has the luxury edge over the GR Corolla

Acura Integra Type S interior
Acura Integra Type S Interior | Acura

Both in terms of passenger and cargo space, the Integra Type S shows itself to be the more functional choice over the GR Corolla. Nearly five extra cubic feet of cargo space and 10 more inches of rear seat legroom mean that the Acura is, without doubt, more versatile than it’s Toyota competitor.

The GR Corolla’s short wheelbase is a boon for sharpened handling, but the trade is limited interior room when compared to the Acura.

When is the Acura Integra Type S available?

The Acura Integra Type S arrives in June of 2023, but if you don’t want to wait the GR Corolla is already on sale today. While the Acura carries a higher starting price than the Toyota, dealer markups are wreaking havoc on the market for enthusiast cars these days. Unless you live near a dealer that is committed to MSRP, finding either of these cars at sticker price will be a tall order.

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