Article Summery :
Acura's Integra is a truly "hot" car, but in more ways than you might expect. Although the Integra designation is no longer used the car lives on as the RSX today.
Article Key Words :
Acura Integra, Acura RSX, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Acura Integra Type R, Acura Integra Parts, Ford
Main Article Content :
Released as a 1987 model, the very first Acura Integra started what was to become a strong following of owners who were drawn in by the car’s sports appeal and reasonable prices. Based on the Honda Civic, the Integra successfully brought customers over to the Acura brand and has been widely credited with spurring Honda’s luxury division to its “legendary” success. In 2002, Acura renamed the car the “RSX” to bring the name in line with the alphabet soup designation of each of its models. Whatever you call the car, the Integra has lived up to all of the hype surrounding the model. Let’s take a closer look a vehicle that has an interesting, if not a bit strange, legacy.
From Civic to Acura
Honda’s decision to launch a luxury car division was based on two factors: luxury versions of Honda automobiles were already being sold in its home market, Japan, and the American automotive market was ripe for some competition. Honda felt that the US market would more readily accept an all-new Acura brand over an upscale Honda, thus the decision was made to proceed with Acura.
The brand’s first two models, the Integra and Legend, were based on existing Honda platforms, the Civic and Accord, respectively. As odd as this may seem today, the modified platforms made sense during the 1980s allowing Acura to concentrate on marketing and dealer network development while introducing variations of two highly successful Honda models.
True Entry Level Luxury
While most luxury brands use the $25,000 figure as the price point for their base models, Acura has held down the price of the Integra/RSX several thousand dollars less than that threshold. Truly, the Integra was never a luxury car, instead it was and is a well equipped, easy-to-tune, fun-to-drive, sports coupe. This pricing strategy opened the Acura door to many motorists who might have otherwise stayed away and kept owners in the fold once they were ready to upgrade to a pricier Acura model.
Highly Popular…With Thieves, That Is
One claim to fame that the Integra has is its appearance on every single “most stolen” vehicle list. Indeed, as many as seven different model year Integras have appeared on the list as a swiped Integra is most prized for its parts. As with many imports, all of the individual parts combined can retail for more than three times the vehicle’s price. In addition, the car’s powerful engine often finds its way underneath the hood of less powerful Honda models. Check your local chop shop for their selection of truly “hot” Acura Integra parts!
Although the Integra name is synonymous with sportiness and value, as is the current RSX appellation, Acura is discontinuing the model as Honda seeks to further separate its two divisions. No longer will a thinly disguised, yet potent Honda wear an Acura nameplate. Indeed, Honda has now separated the research and development departments for the two brands in a bid to differentiate the lines. Apparently, Honda believes that Acura can now stand on its own and “bridge models” such as the RSX will not have a place in its model line up.
Beyond the RSX, Acura currently has no other sport coupe to entice owners. That all may change if a rumored two door version of its hot new TSX sedan is released. If it is, Acura owners will pay a premium over the Integra/RSX price, but receive a car that is even more opulent, more potent, and better engineered than the model that it will be replacing.