The 2024 Acura Integra Type S ups the giggle factor

I start giggling as I accelerate onto the oval test track at Honda’s Tochigi R&D center in Japan, and I don’t stop until I take the exit two laps later. Reason for so much automotive joy: a prototype drive of the 2024 Acura Integra Type S.

The reborn Integra will be the fourth Acura to receive the Type-S treatment, and it wears the badge well throughout this fast drive. Acura was a little nut when it came to specs, saying only that the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4 will make more than 300 horsepower. If that sounds familiar, that’s because the Honda Civic Type R also comes with a similarly outfitted power plant that produces 315 horsepower. Although neither Acura nor Honda have confirmed that the two performance cars share a heart, I wouldn’t be surprised to have driven both.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

2024 Acura Integra Type S

My test car is camouflaged, so it’s difficult to give visual details of the Type S, but the silhouette is no different than the standard Integra currently at dealerships. The front and rear aprons are the same and the rear spoiler doesn’t look any bigger on this Type S. However, this high-performance Integra gets a cool triple exhaust with center exit. While the 2023 Honda Civic Type R’s center exhaust is larger and they’re all the same size, it’s another indication that this Integra Type S and Civic Type R are closely related.

Before my test drive began, the Acura PR guys told me to keep the speed at 95 mph on the steep corners, but I forget their rule as soon as I shift out of second gear. The acceleration here is so unexpected that I can only laugh like a madman. The sound penetrating the cabin is equally astounding, rumbling but with the telltale roar of the turbocharger. I almost yell “VTEC just started yo” but I’m not sure the Japanese engineer sitting next to me would get the joke.

The 6-speed manual transmission is a dream with crisp throws and a nicely weighted clutch. I let the revs scream toward the redline before smoothly upshifting. Approaching the first steep turn, I refuse to channel my inner Richard Petty, to lift it.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

2024 Acura Integra Type S

I feel like I’m completely sideways on the bank of the track, but photos show I could have gone higher on the bank. I risk a look at the speedometer and through my screams of joy I scream, “I’m at 105 mph!” I fully expect to be pulled off the track for exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph, but my engineer does -Co-Dawg just says, “It’s okay. You can drive faster.” Challenge accepted!

Coming onto the straight, I get stuck and shift into sixth gear. Now I’m at just over 200 km/h and the Integra is going straight. There’s no twitch in the steering and nothing feels light. In Toyota parlance, the car feels very “down to earth”.

With a full straight behind me, I slam on the brakes, shift down to fifth and take the corner, this time a little higher on the incline. I don’t scrub much speed so it’s hard to really speak to the strength of the brakes. Acura has covered the brand name on the red calipers, but it’s probably safe to assume the front calipers are Brembo, as they are on the TLX Type S. On this limited test ride, all I can say is that they feel firm and linear.

2024 Acura Integra Type S

2024 Acura Integra Type S

It’s also difficult to talk about how the Integra Type S handles. A limited-slip differential sits up front, but this oval track doesn’t use it much. I’m turning left and not driving a street course. It will be great to take the Integra to a back road to really see what it can do.

My two laps are over quickly and before I know it I have to leave the test track. However, my laughter hasn’t stopped and I’m 100% sure the engineer thinks I’m demonstrably insane. Sure, the little Integra has less power than the TLX Type S with its turbocharged V-6 powerplant, but I still had an exciting time behind the wheel.

Acura hasn’t released pricing for the 2024 Integra Type S, only saying it will hit dealerships next summer. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say this high-performance Integra will start in the mid to high $40,000 range, a few thousand above the $43,990 Civic Type R. I’m looking forward to a full ride of the Integra Type S to see if it can deliver even more giggles as the turns go left and right.

Acura provided Airfare, Lodging and Travel Time to Motor Authority to bring you this first-hand report.

– By Emme Hall

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