By Gary S. Vasilash
Acura has been around since 1986. When the luxury and performance division of Honda appeared on the American landscape it came with two vehicles, the Legend at the lux end and the Integra at the performance.
The Legend lasted for two generations. The Integra ran for four consecutively, wrapping up in model year 2006.
But now the Integra is back for its fifth.
A lot has happened in the auto industry since 1986. Heck, a lot has happened since 2006.
A big part of the change is the comparative collapse of the car and the explosive growth of the crossover.
This change is quite evident in the Acura sales.
From January 2022 through the month of May it sold 12,216 cars. That includes the ILX, NSX, TLX and Integra (which was new in May, so there were only nine sold).
During the same period Acura sold 33,460 crossovers. That includes the RDX and the MDX.
So essentially, cars account for about a third of the brand’s sales.
Here’s another set of figures that makes one scratch one’s head:
In a 2020 CarMax survey, the retailer found that while 93.6% of customers wanted Bluetooth in their vehicles, only 2.5% were interested in a manual transmission.
While the 2023 Integra, which has a VTEC-enhanced 1.5 liter turbocharged engine that produces 200 hp at 6,000 rpm and 192 lb-ft of torque at from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm, has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT), the option for the car, in the up-trim A-Spec package, is a six-speed manual. . .and the Acura folk anticipate a 65% take rate for the manual.
So to learn more about the new Integra we talk with Emile Korkor, Assistant VP, Acura National Sales, on this edition of “Autoline After Hours.”
Korkor emphasizes that Acura is about performance, and the new Integra is engineered for that cohort of buyers who are interested in performance cars.
An interesting aspect is that the car starts at $30,800 so it is certainly affordable. The A-Spec with Technology Package, adding in the six-speed, has an MSRP of $35,800. Again, affordable.
Korkor points out that this isn’t simply a car that is built to be quick, but that it has premium amenities, as well. After all, if you’re going to be driving it hard, you might as well get comfortable while you are doing it.
Korkor talks with “Autoline’s” John McElroy, Eric Weiner of Hagerty and me.
In addition, McElroy, Weiner and I discuss a variety of other subjects, including why Honda, ford, VW, BMW and Volvo filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit regarding California emissions laws and other OEMs haven’t; whether pricing for electric vehicles is realistic (Sandy Munro, for example, suggests that the Rivian R1T, which starts at $67,500, should be selling for $100,000); and other topics.
Which you can see right here.