Throwback Thursday – The Mighty Acura Integra GS-R
Remember when Acura built engaging, fun, light, nimble, and relatively affordable cars? Remember the Acura Integra? Yeah, I do too!
Now, before you call me out and tell me that Acura still builds the NSX, I’ll go ahead and tell you that a nearly $200k hybrid supercar doesn’t count, and while breathtaking, the 2017 NSX that’s as far of a departure as could be from what Acura stood for in the early 90’s.
Our friends at Automobile Mag recently featured this seafoam-ish green 1992 Acura Integra GS-R, and proceeded to tell us a bit of the Acura corporate history, and how it came to life.
The luxe Japanese brand was born in 1986 in the United States, but with a problem of a mistaken identity. The few models that made it to dealerships simply didn’t know their place in the market, and Acura established itself as an “another ran” in the Japanese segment. It wasn’t until Lexus came in 1989 that Acura seemed to find the carrot it needed to chase, and things changed forever.
One of their most beloved vehicles ever produced was the Acura Integra (and later on the RSX). Whether it was in the rowdy Type S or exhilarating GS-R trim, the Integra was a light, nimble, telepathic, and basic coupe. It provided adults, and later on thousands of high school kids that bought used Integras as their first cars with endless hours of pure fun behind the wheel.
The VTEC variable valve timing and lift system was way ahead of its time, and it basically started a cult of followers that exists to date. The 1992-1993 GS-R 1.7 liter 4-cylinder engine produced a monumental 160 horsepower, which was more than plenty to propel a 2,600 pound Japanese hatchback.
While I’m a big fan of the Integra, the latter RSX is by far my favorite Acura ever. One that I wish I would’ve bought! What about you?