Story: Brendan Garst Photography: Chris Colten, Steve Clark

The car trundled to an uneasy stop at the Robber’s Roost turn-off, four-ways lit, and angled back towards Berthoud pass’ ribbon of cratered tarmac. Cyclists from the “Ride the Rockies” cycling tour looked on from across the street as we got out to look at the newly flattened tire on one of the most interesting enthusiast automotive launches of 2024, the Acura Integra Type S. Lets back up things up a bit…

This is another new one for us here at SHIFT Colorado; a car with an embargo. In the mountain town of Winter Park we were figuratively tossed the keys to the 2024 Acura Integra Type S as part of a press event assembled by the terrific Rocky Mountain Automotive Press organization, at a journo-event we’ll cover at length in issue 5. 

In the meantime, we wanted to release something on the embargo date (for those who don’t know, an embargo is an official “hold impressions until” date, which allows a manufacturer to have a baseline level of control over the media release of the car). This was a short local jaunt up Berthoud Pass and back, so this doesn’t constitute a full review, but we sure did find a lot to talk about in 20 minutes of driving time. 


The 2024 Acura Integra Type S is effectively the mature big brother and platform mate to the current Civic Type R. Taking the base Integra and turning up styling cues substantially, starting with the base car’s handsome looks and chiseling them into something more aggressive. A more sculpted front bumper with large air dams feeds a visible intercooler up front, with flared wheel arches and more stylized side skirts. At the back, a rear bumper with an integrated diffuser and rear carbon spoiler, also accenting the signature triple-tailpipe arrangement of the Civic Type R. The car rides on bespoke 19×9.5 inch wheels, with a design inspired by the NSX Type S. Compared to the next trim down in the Integra’s lineup, the Integra A-Spec, you shouldn’t have trouble picking the Type S out of the crowd.

The engineers at Acura have clearly put a lot of thought and intentionality into the design of the Type S. The angles are sharp and crisp in the sheet metal, of which in this case is 100% distinct from the lower trim Integra forward of the A-Pillars. 

Much of it is also aluminum, including the functionally vented aluminum hood; air enters the massive lower air dam, passes through the intercooler and out of the hood vent for significantly improved flow over the heat exchangers and reduced air pressure under the car. 

The Integra has “homage” easter eggs integrated throughout the vehicle, including on the exterior, where “Integra” is embossed into the front and rear bumpers, harkening back to the third generation Integra. The car also has “Type S” badging on the grille, fenders and liftgate.


As you might imagine, the interior of the Acura Integra Type S is a nice place to sit. The car has deeply bolstered red leather seats, with perforated Alcantara seating surfaces up front. The Type S has full red leather seats in the rear, with similar red accents on the door cards throughout. The materials feel premium, and you can tell that thought was given to human factors and touchpoints throughout the car; everything you interact with is designed to feel good to the touch. 

The front seats feel great, and hold you snugly in place without feeling like they’re too tight for a larger driver. Rear seat leg room and headroom was solid, I could see myself comfortably sitting back there for an extended period of time. 

The A-pillars are slender, and the dash and cowl are low and wide, with a deeply raked windshield. All of the above combine to give the cabin an airy feel. 

An interesting thing about the Integra line is that the car is a 4 door plus liftgate configuration; a “three box” five-door hatchback. C-pillars are larger, as they are on most cars with modern design language, but even combined with the extra horizontal width from the liftgate frame, their rear visibility is solid.


This is the main event for the Integra Type S, unmistakenly. A true enthusiast special, the Integra Type S features the K20C 2.0 liter VTEC Turbo motor, the most powerful stock K-series motor sold in the U.S. The Type S’s K20C makes 5 more horsepower than the Civic Type R’s K20C, making 320 horsepower at 6,500 RPM, and 310 pound-feet of torque. The car makes roughly 1 horsepower per 10.1 pounds of car. 

The motor in the Integra Type S is tuned for throttle response, using an electric wastegate and high flow single scroll turbocharger. The turbo generates boost over a wider range of RPM, which takes away some of the spikiness in throttle response that is inherent with turbo cars. 

In another throwback easter egg, the motor cover features a red rectangular design, another homage to the DC2 Integra Type R’s valve cover. 

The motor has some other neat features for folks who may look to tune or add power after their initial purchase, including a lightweight forged crank, and forged rods out of the box.

It’s not an Acura/Honda without VTEC, and rest easy, enthusiasts; VTEC continues to kick in (yo) even in 2024. For those who may not know, VTEC is a handy and culturally relevant acronym for “Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control”, a system that adjusts intake and exhaust cam phasing, which changes lift, timing and duration on the valves, effectively offering the same car multiple cam profiles in one motor. Cam profiles are generally a “pick one for your application” type of deal; whats good for low end grunt may not necessarily be the best for high revving motors. VTEC allows the same physical camshaft to cater to both, and is one of the features enthusiasts have loved and rallied around since VTEC’s first introduction in the 1989 Honda Integra XSi worldwide, and 1991 Acura NSX in the United States. 

The motor incorporates a lightweight single-mass flywheel, which reduces rotating weight on the crank, improving response but historically at a trade-off for driveability. When we drove the car, the benefits of a light flywheel were evident, without the difficult starts or flywheel chatter on engagement. It just feels good

Another main selling point of the Integra Type S is the 6 speed manual transmission. Touted by Acura, the Integra is the only compact sedan in its segment featuring a manual transmission, with short shifts and crisp tolerances. The A-Spec also offers an optional 6 speed manual, however the Type S Manual transmission features a stiffened case, stronger bearings and gears and other improvements to help it deal with the additional output from the motor. 

The Integra Type S features an automated rev-matching feature, which to the delight of heel-toe enthusiasts out there is selectable. Based on the drive mode selected, the car will rev match with varying levels of speed to reduce driveline shock. 

The Integra is a front wheel drive vehicle, and uses a limited slip differential to minimize wheel-spin, equalizing to a varying extent the speed of the drive wheels based on available traction and in turn reducing on-throttle understeer that has a tendency to plague sporty or torquey front wheel drive cars. 

The Integra Type S’ three-outlet exhaust is tuned to deliver a solid exhaust note that enthusiasts will enjoy. The third outlet is actively valved to allow the car to flow more freely, and the system ditches the front resonator, all of which reduce restrictions and let the driver hear the car. In Sport+, the car also crackles and pops on the overrun, a feature that would not generally be found on an Acura. They know their audience here. 


The car features a trick suspension as well, with adjustable dampers and a dual-axis suspension geometry that provides negative camber at initial turn-in for sharper response, and leans over to increase the contact patch as the car’s weight shifts in a turn. The adaptive dampers are controlled via the drive mode selected by the integrated dynamics system, and optimizes damping based on multiple inputs from the car. The Type S also features stiffer sway bars and comes wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires in a standard 265/30R19 size.  All of these performance options insinuate the need for solid brakes. The Integra Type S offers 4 piston Brembo calipers clamping 13.8 inch 2-piece rotors up front, and 2 piston calipers in the rear. Front brakes are 1.5 inches and rear brakes are .9 inches larger than the A-Spec trim. 

Additionally, the front brake rotors are actively cooled via integrated functional brake ducting in the front bumper. There are an awful lot of tricks in the Integra Type S’ arsenal for going fast, and enjoying doing so. How does this all translate to driving?


In a word, superbly. The car is cohesive, its comfortable, but it delivers on high-revving fun up a twisty road. Steve and I took the car from the Vintage hotel in Winter Park, up Berthoud Pass and back (nearly). 

On hitting the start button, the car cracks to life with a nice growl, and settles into an audible idle in Sport+. The shifter throw is perfect, its not notchy enough so as to be annoying, but feels stiff and rewarding when it clicks into place. We pulled out of the hotel’s driveway and onto berthoud, and the car certainly carries its high-revving roots on its shoulders, accelerating to a 6,500 RPM second-to-third shift as the car pulled with a purpose (to the speed limit). 

The motor roars, a sonorous wail that is recognizable as a VTEC motor on song when you put the pedal down. Any time the driving experience of a newer version of a “throwback” car like the Integra can make some kind of connection to its predecessor, its exciting, and the Integra Type S scores a direct hit here. 

I drove the car with the revmatching on, which did not miss a beat as I rowed the car through its gears up Berthoud Pass. The car is stiff, a product of 30 series tires and the adaptive damping on Sport+. Foreshadowingly, Steve and I traded commentary on the car passing over potholes in the pass as we climbed the hill, unable to move around much within the lane due to the Cyclists of Ride the Rockies taking the shoulder of the road. 

We snaked up Berthoud’s switchbacks, leaning on the car looking for front end push when situations allowed us to do so, noting that at speeds approximating the speed limit, there was none to be found; Acura’s limited slip diff and suspension tuning served well to prevent understeer. We stopped a few times to take some of the beauty shots featured throughout the article, and reaching a point nearing the apex of the pass, Steve and I traded seats so he could experience the car. 

We began our push down the hill, falling immediately into traffic inbound to Winter Park for the opening day of their biking runs. We settled into a more pedestrian drive behind the downhill traffic, pointing out other vehicles from the press drive, and focusing on the chassis dynamics and power steering feel, as well as other minutae like the speed of the windshield wiper sweep (alarming), the sound of the stereo (fantastic) and the finish of the interior (top notch). 

A pothole jolts the car, and Steve and I traded a laugh about sport suspension. Steve mentioned a TPMS warning and I ask if it cleared itself. “Oh… well, no…” replied Steve, the look on his face moving from a smile to an uneasy grimace. “The front passenger tire is low… 11 psi… 8 psi…” A pit starts to grow in the bottom of my stomach. We pull over into Robber’s Roost, where we began the article, with our 4-ways off to assess the car. The 30 series PS4 had pinch-flatted, the remaining air hissing out of the tire’s sidewall mockingly. 


The pit in my abdomen deepens. Sidewall damage is not repairable, the tire needs to be replaced. This was Acura’s headline car of the event; What have we done? 

I called the event’s emergency roadside numbers, and got support on the way, while Steve pondered the impact of the pothole and flat on the event, and realized the repercussions the issue would have through the car’s retirement from the day. 

Waiting for the tow truck to come, and doing the responsible journalistic thing: I snapped candid shots of Steve as he did so… it would have been irresponsible not to capture the schadenfreude of the moment. 

Truthfully, it could have happened to anyone. The road on Berthoud Pass is more akin to a war zone, pockmarked with awful potholes. When we teased the image on the Colorado Cars and Coffee Facebook group, a massive outpouring of both interest in the car and similar tales of flats on Berthoud came forth, in two days one of the most active posts the group has received in 2023. 

The support folks arrived quickly to take us away from the wounded Integra. Big thanks to The Drive Shop, one of the press-car wrangling outfits for the event which showed up quickly, stuffed us in the back of a Lexus SUV, offered us water and checked on our welfare on the way back to the Vintage hotel we’d set off from, a few miles down the road. To add to the situation, Acura had brought a representative out to the event as the media handler and product specialist for the Integra Type S, who had been riding right seat with others. Jake from Acura had given us a great presentation about the car the day before, and was enthusiastic telling stories of driving the car around in his home market in California.

In one of the toughest exchanges I’ve had to partake in recently, we got out of the support vehicle and wandered over to deliver the news. 

Jake from Acura was amazing about the situation, asking if we were ok and mentioning he had kind of wondered himself if the tires were going to make it through the drive based on some of the road conditions we had encountered. Jake was tremendously forgiving, and asked if there were any questions he could answer for us on the car in the meantime, and traded contact information with us. 

As we continued the day, driving other vehicles up and down the pass, we’d pass the Integra at Robbers Roost, now a persistent reminder of something we’d prefer to forget until the group left Winter Park. We’ll carry that stigma amongst our journo peers for a long time to come. Such is life, let’s get back to the car. 

The Integra Type S we tested was priced at $55,785 as tested including destination and handling. This represents a roughly $11k premium over its sibling the Civic Type R, as well as other upmarket enthusiast cars like the Golf R, or at parity with offerings like the V6 Supra Manual, the Audi S4, or the BMW M235i, and within a spitting distance of the V8 equipped Lexus IS-500. 

What those don’t all share is the heritage. Sure, the Supra has its cult following, but you are looking at two different form factors at that point. The Integra points to its roots any chance it gets, with details made in homage to the third generation and offers a solid driving experience while being able to comfortably seat 4 adults. Want to tune it? Its a K-series, parts and aftermarket support are already pervasive. 

The value proposition here is ultimately going to come down to you and your wants. The 2024 Integra Type S is a gorgeous car both inside and out, that brings with it nostalgia, polished and updated to be crisp in modern times, while carrying a 6 year 70,000 mile powertrain warranty. The Integra Type S is slated to arrive at dealers in June 2023, except for our test car, which anxiously awaits a new tire, maybe even still up at Robber’s Roost. Way to go, Steve.