I drove the 2024 Integra Type-S and it is a total retro-remake

Capturing the essence of something old is never easy, considering old doesn’t always mean good, but they’ve done it somehow with this car in all the best ways.

A factory three-hundred and twenty horsepower Integra. If someone uttered that statement twenty years ago, it would have been the greatest Honda product ever made, even more amazing than the often-cited S2000 with its stratospheric liter per horsepower ratio.

But today, this number is commonly found in some of the ‘most slightly upscale’ people movers. It’s a number that matters and at the same time, it should be the last thing you care about. Speed has been democratized, almost everything is fast now. Good thing this car is not about power. It’s the last, best analog Honda product we’re going to get. It’s a retro-video game remake for a new generation.

Which, if you’re wondering, retro is the new cool. Those of us who grew up with the tuning culture of the late nineties and early two-thousands are starting to grab those bits of our childhood we couldn’t get or those we want again.

The evidence of this is in the prices. Cars, video games, toys and anything pop culture related to about 30 years ago are having a meteoric rise in value. There aren’t many popular cars that were made thirty years ago that are cheap anymore. They’re all edging towards prices that don’t make it easy to pull the trigger to own one. It’s all because we’re getting older and finally coming into some money.

Don’t go digging out all the Altezza taillights and Ja Rule CDs from your garage just yet. There is still a little time left. Acura has made this painfully obvious that we’re still not quite in our golden years in the best way possible with the new Integra Type-S.

This car is everything we wanted when we were kids. I just wonder if we deserve it at this point. It feels so retro in the best ways. It’s a total dinosaur in the automotive space it made popular. Somehow, they’ve captured the pure Honda feel with this car. It bumps and shakes how you remember—like a cheap economy car should.

It has received some modern upgrades, to include drive modes, which is absolutely ridiculous. Wasn’t VTEC the original sport mode? Want it sedate and calm? Don’t rev it high. Want it to go like a raped ape? Tach it up baby! This car, having a six-speed and sport modes is dumb. Give me one mode—sport—all the time and call it a day. Drive it the way you feel. The throttle position is the original sport mode after all.

The six-speed shifter is the best possible unit we all tried to replicate years ago with obnoxiously cut short shifters. The brakes are big. The fenders blistered. Red seats. Even red on top of the engine. It captures all the essence of the fast Hondas of yesteryear. The only thing I’d argue that is a bit steep is the price. This car came in at $52,595.

That’s fifty-thousand dollars to re-experience a reimagined retro-modern Integra. At that price it might be a better investment in the long run to go buy the nicest Type-R you can find for that money. It’s far nicer. Far quicker. This is the commuter any Honda fan boy will demand today, especially since the seats won’t hurt your aging back. Sometimes the best memories are left in the past but if you’ve got the coin, they’re exceptionally fun today.


M. T. Blake

(Instagram @_mtblake / www.mtblake.net)

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