The Honda Integra is a small family car, or C-segment compact vehicle, with a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. It debuted in 1986 and went in production until 2006. The Japanese automobile tycoon, Honda, gained recognition for the excellent performance and handling of this series. Automotive enthusiasts regard the Integra Type R as the best front-wheel-drive car, and it has consistently figured in best and top car lists during its production run.
The car-riding population around the world has seen four generations of Honda Integra. Moreover, the car has been pretty popular in the field of auto racing and entertainment. In 1992, the car appeared as a safety car in Formula One. Two DC2 Honda Integra cars featured in the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious, and they are favorites in Need for Speed games. Produced in four generations, Honda Integra has a glorious history behind it.
First Generation; DA1-DA4 Series (1985-1989)
Launched in Japan in its initial year as Honda Quint Integra, the car would later join the family of Acura, Honda’s luxury sub-brand. In Japan, it was initially available as three-door hatchbacks, with the four-door saloon-style coming out in 1986. The models that Acura exported to the US were all hatchback versions with 1.6L DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine under the bonnet.
The first generation entered other markets as three-door or five-door liftbacks or coupes and a range of engines but which were available depending on market conditions and restrictions.
In Australia, the AV series arrived with a 1.6L DOHC 16-valve petrol engine (90 kW peak power and 142 Nm maximum torque) coupled to either 4-speed automatic transmission and 5-speed manual gearbox. In this generation, the car earned quite a reputation for the multi-valve engines, DOHC.
The US version received a central locking feature, air conditioning, painted bumpers, sunroof, and rear spoiler, but models bound for other markets were mostly bare. Even though the generation impressed the automobile magazines with the performance, the missing features in Europe and other regions brought the car under scrutiny.
Over the next few years, Honda gave Integra a facelift along with a better climate control system, improved instrument clock and remodelled indicator light in 1988 and 1989. The first generation was the only one to feature three-, four- and five-door versions. The production of the five-door style came to a standstill in 1988.
Second Generation; DA5-DA9 Series (1989-1993)
The second generation brought the VTEC engines that the manufacturer used in JDM Integra DA. Honda introduced two of the variants in the US, namely, the XSi and the RSi. The former could do a 0-100 km/h in 7.2s and a quarter-mile in 15.1s. The XSi had an optional sunroof and climate control, while the RSi had a wind-up window and fewer options.
Sold under the name of Acura in the North American market, there were three trim levels till 1991. In 1992, the fourth trim level came into public appearance. Then the customers had two choices, three-door hatchback and four-door sedan.
The last half of the second generation welcomed a GS-R hatchback with five-speed manual transmission and featured a 1.7-litre B17A1 4-cylinder VTEC engine. There were only around 5,000 GS-R models produced.
The Australian-release model came in a single LS trim and a 1.8L B18A1 inline-4 petrol engine paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission or 5-speed manual, producing maximum output ratings of 94 kW and 164 Nm. Double wishbones served front and rear independent suspensions with coil springs and gas-pressurised shock absorbers.
The LS base trim included alloy wheels, central locking, power mirrors, power steering, power sunroof, power windows, and a radio cassette with four speakers.
Third Generation; DB6-DB9 Series (1993-2001)
The third generation was launched in 1993 with a unique four-headlight front-end style. The "bug-eye" headlights did not fetch admiration in Japan, but JDM Integra got a minor facelift along with traditional flat headlamps. Additionally, the non-JDM Integra also got a facelift and replaced the Integra label. For this very reason, the horizontal strut over the radiator grille was removed, and the headlight housing was designed.
This Integra generation included trunk mat, fog lights, sunroof, 15-inch alloy wheels and leather seats. Also, US trim levels were available as Regular Sport (B18B1 DOHC engine), Luxury Sport and Special Edition (in both sedan and coupe), Grand Sport (with rear spoiler) and Grand Sport Racing (B18C1 DOHC VTEC).
Australian buyers saw the entry into their market of two Integra trims – GSi and VTi-R –
The base trim (GSi) featured driver’s airbag, air conditioning, central locking, metallic paint, power mirrors, power steering, power sunroof, power windows, and radio cassette with four speakers. Honda’s B series 1.8L DOHC B18B petrol engine powered this model, pushing up to 107 kW and 172 Nm through either a 5-speed close-ratio manual gearbox or 4-speed automatic transmission.
The VTi-R model was available only with the 5-speed manual gearbox with a 1.8L DOHC VTEC B18C pushing125 kW and 173 Nm through it. Aside from the standard equipment offered by the base trim, this grade has added a passenger's airbag, ABS, and alloy wheels.
Japan and some markets, including Australia, welcomed the performance-tuned Integra Type R in the latter part of this generation. Automotive journalists, like the Evo and AutoChannel, call the Type R as the most fabulous front-wheel-drive car ever and the FWD with the best handling ever.
It comes with a 1.8L DOHC B18 petrol engine, equipped with a helical limited-slip differential and factory-tuned to drive 141 kW of power and 178 Nm of torque to the front wheels through a 5-speed close-ratio manual gearbox.
The Type R comes standard with dual front airbags, ABS, tilt & telescopic adjustable steering wheel, alloy wheels, engine immobilizer, Momo steering wheel, remote hatch release, rear spoiler, and sports seats, added to the base offer.
Fourth Generation; DC5 Series (2001-2006)
The fourth-generation Integra earned its fame as Acura RSX. With the new series, Honda unveiled a new engine, K20A2, which was manufactured for RSX and Type-S from 2002-2004, and later K20Z1, which made its mark from 2005-2006 for the RSX-S.
These were the grade levels offered in Australia from 2001 until the discontinuation of Integra in 2007:
The Base model (aka Acura RSX in other markets) came powered by K20A3 DOHC inline-4 petrol engine with rated power and torque of 118 kW and 191 Nm, respectively. It paired with either 5-speed sequential auto or 5-speed manual. It featured almost similar equipment as prior base models but added auto air conditioning and climate control, anti-theft alarm, 16-inch alloy wheels, and seatbelt pretensioners for the front seats.
The Luxury model ran on the same powertrain and added a leather steering wheel, leather upholstery, power sunroof, and side airbags to the Base model.
Type R utilised another K-series engine, the K20A2, which could produce 147 kW and 192 Nm. It added the same features as in the previous generation plus sports suspension.
Type S became available in 2005, packed with a K20Z1 and a 5-speed manual gearbox, which could propel 154 kW of power and 194 Nm torque to the front wheels.
Honda ended the production of Integra in 2006 due to the decline in the coupe market but did 150 more units to accommodate customer request. Gradually, Honda Civic Si filled the void left by the RSX.
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