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Road & Track got to briefly drive the Integra Type S at Honda's R&D testing oval in Tochigi, Japan.

According to them the Integra Type S has some of the same elements as the Civic type R


The drive was just two laps of an oval—Honda's R&D testing oval in Tochigi, Japan, to be specific. That's hardly enough to learn much of anything about its handling, but given that most of the lap was over 100 mph, we can say that the Integra Type S handles high speeds with the same quiet stability as the new-generation Honda Civic Type R.

That's no surprise. For all intents and purposes, the new Integra Type S is a Civic Type R for people who wear a tie to work. Acura has released very few specifics, but the assertion that the Type S will use a VTEC turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual leaves little room for speculation as to where its running gear comes from. Notably, however, Acura is an America-focused brand, and Honda corporate is territorial about the Civic Type R as its performance halo car. That means we shouldn't expect the Type S to outpace the Civic. The CTR is bound to rule the track. Instead, Acura explains, the Integra Type S is more about maximizing on-road fun.

The interior gets the point across. Though clearly Civic-based, the standard Integra's upscale cabin is still mature and refined here, with slight tweaks to the seats to convey a sense of performance. The six-speed shifter and Type S gauge graphics suggest speed, but if you're not looking for them, the cabin looks positively upmarket in a way that the bold red-carpeted Civic can't match. The outside, too, is aggressive but restrained. The prototype we drove was heavily camouflaged but clearly featured a big diffuser, a revised fascia, a center-exit exhaust from the Civic, and aggressive summer rubber. The large, red brakes had their logos covered, but it's not a stretch to assume they're Brembo units borrowed from the Honda.

Rolling out of the pits, the Type S does the fast-Honda trick. It feels eager but unfulfilled down low, waking up as it leaps toward the far end of the tachometer. In this case, that redline is somewhere near the 7000-rpm mark, though, at 120 mph, it's hard to be too precise about that. Either way, it won't be slow and will deliver that characteristic Honda powerband that rewards you for pushing harder. The shifter will be unsurprisingly spectacular—world-beating, even. In terms of cornering behavior, two minutes on an oval track wasn't enough to suss out meaningful impressions. But when we fed in power at the exit of a 115-mph corner, it was easy to feel the limited-slip differential at work. If it's the same one that comes in the Civic Type R—and smart money says it is—then we're big fans.

We'd also expect the Type S to be a relaxed high-speed cruiser, as even the base Integra is fine fluttering along at Montana highway speeds. To learn more, we'll have to drive it in the real world and for longer. That won't happen until much closer to the car's on-sale date, sometime next summer. In the meantime, we can at least report that Acura hasn't blown it. The Type S is going to be good.
 
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