The Integra will become the new flagship when the NSX retires, Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda tells MotorTrend in an interview. It is a different approach, the Integra being an attainable, entry-level car. But there are “so many warm and fuzzies around it,” he says, and it underscores Acura’s positioning as an inclusive luxury brand that likes to punch above its weight. Acura has been rebuilding the brand for six years and had to get the NSX out first, to reorient the brand.
“Now it’s the right time to retire the halo and bring in the volume entry car. It’s time to return to Integra.”
Enthusiasts are excited that the Integra, an affordable compact car, will be returning. Acura has high expectations for the car—which will not be electrified when it arrives next year, in part to be able to price it as entry level model.
Acura Integra Design Locked In
The design of the Integra has been locked in. Ikeda describes it as “an Integra for this generation. ” Ikeda says he is happy with the design, which is quite sporty, and recognizable as an Integra. He will not confirm if it has two doors or four. “Integra is not a replacement for ILX but Integra is our entry gateway vehicle. We don’t plan on having something below that.”
Can you have two versions of Integra: coupe and sporty four door, as in the past? “Maybe.”
Integra Developed in Japan
The new Integra is being developed in Japan even though it is a more iconic vehicle in the U.S. The team leader has a vested interest: his first two cars after joining Honda were both Integras. Ikeda told him to make sure the team includes all the elements that made him buy an Integra, including the price.
The Integra will use the Honda Civic platform. And there could be some Honda Type R bones in there, but don’t expect the full Type R treatment initially. Once Acura gets the car out next year, Ikeda says he knows people will be asking for a higher performance version. And Acura is pushing Type S across the lineup, building equity in the sub-brand. “I am aware people will want an Integra Type S,” Ikeda says.
Integra will be a high-volume vehicle and will be made in the U.S., its largest market, Ikeda says. It will help him achieve is goal of 200,000 annual Acura sales in the U.S. He is aiming for 180,000 sales this year, led by the Acura MDX.
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