Modern Honda Civic Type R Meets Integra Type R on Winding Road

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As far as inspirational role models go, the Integra Type R is hard to beat.

The Honda Civic Type R is easily one of the best front-wheel-drive sports cars you can buy today. However, as anyone whose given a passing glance to the selection from Nissan and Toyota will admit, the trend seems to be unique to Honda. We came across this video from Autocar detailing the winding path the automaker took to end up creating a car like the Civic Type R. Host Matt Prior does the driving and after spending a little time talking about the Civic, he takes us viewers on a short history lesson. Don’t worry, it’s more fun than the history class from high school!

Soichiro Honda went from making engines to racing motorcycles, racing cars, and eventually to establishing one of the premier automotive brands in the world. Though there were a few other JDM offerings with a “Type R” badge, the Integra Type R is one of the first in the United Kingdom (and the first US market) officially got.  “It’s a car that was developed not just to have a great engine, but to have a brilliant chassis as well,” Prior explains. He does go through an in-depth explanation for why VTEC is awesome, and how it works.

Naturally, nearly 200 hp from a normally-aspirated four cylinder was impressive for the late 1990s. Prior points out, at 6,500 rpm when the B18 switches over to the more aggressive cam (VTEC baby!) the entire power delivery changes. “I prefer it to all of the other front-wheel drive cars I have driven,” Prior says. “I think it’s not just Honda at its best, but I think it’s front-wheel drive driver’s cars at their best.”

Would you pick the Integra or the brand-new Civic for your Type R?

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Austin Lott is a longtime auto journalist who loves writing about cool cars and hearing the stories behind them. He is a regular contributor to popular Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Honda-Tech and 6speedonline. Although he's partial to Japanese imports, he'll give anything cool a shot.

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