In 1986, after nearly two decades of successful economy car sales in the US market, Honda introduced the premium Acura brand gain ground in the luxury vehicle market. Acura builds its cars with sportier designs, more powerful engines and more luxurious interiors than the Hondas. The Integra is Acura’s smallest and cheapest model, designed to compete with the Peugeot 205 GTi and Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Acura introduced the second generation Integra in late 1989 as a 1990 model year with significant upgrades over its successful predecessor. The automaker discontinued the first generation five-door hatchback Integra, offering only a two-door coupe and a four-door sedan with RS, LS, and GS trim levels. In 1993 Acura added the GS-R Coupe for buyers who like a spirited drive.
Although the larger and heavier new designs were met with some initial buyer disappointment, the sporty engines and excellent handling overcame early objections, resulting in a strong Acura Integra Sales of 83,599 units in 1990.
- Double wishbone suspension system
- VTEC technology on the GS-R version
- Rack-and-pinion power steering
- Model: Integrated
- Engine/Motor: 1.8-litre four-cylinder
- Powerful : 130/140/160 hp
- Couple : 117 lb-ft (GS-R)
- Transmission: YOUR
- Transmission: optional five-speed manual/electronically controlled four-speed automatic
- Competitive acceleration and top speed
- Front/rear balance for neutral handling
- Substantial stopping power
- Smooth and comfortable ride
- Clean, low-mileage used cars of all trims are hard to find
New VTEC technology offered in GS-R trim level
Second-generation Integras offered cleaner styling with recessed headlights (dropping the first-generation pop-up headlights) and smoother body lines. Under the hood, Acura upped the horsepower with a 1.8-liter engine producing 130 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque, but upgraded in 1992 to 140 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. Buyers chose either a five-speed manual or an electronically controlled four-speed automatic with driver-selectable Sport mode to route power to the front wheels.
In 1992, Acura increased the performance of the Integra by offering the GS-R trim level. The high-performance model used Honda’s new Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) technology. The system activates alternating camshaft lobes at different rpm ranges to alter cam timing, which makes the engine more efficient, delivers better high-rpm performance and improves gas mileage.
The 1.7-liter Integra GS-R engine generated 160 hp and 117 lb-ft of torque with a redline of 8,000 rpm, the highest specific output of any naturally aspirated engine (with a displacement similar) of his time.
Competitive performance and excellent handling
The second-generation Integra with a 130-hp 1.8-litre engine accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.9 seconds, reached the quarter mile in 17 seconds and reached a top speed of top speed of 208 km/h (129 mph).
Performance was only marginally lower than the 103 bhp Peugeot 205 GTI which accelerated to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.5 seconds and reached a top speed of 190 km/h (118 mph). The Integra edged out the 113.5hp Volkswagen Golf GTi which accelerated to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 10.1 seconds to reach a top speed of 198 km/h (123 mph). However, the high-performance Acura Integra GS-R with a five-speed manual transmission, introduced in 1992, topped all three cars with 160 hp pushing the sporty vehicle to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.4 seconds, the quarter mile in 16.1 seconds and a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph).
While the second-generation Integra demonstrated respectable acceleration for its time, the car’s handling set the sporty coupe apart from other cars in its class. According to Acura“When designing the Integra’s chassis, the goals were: a high degree of linear stability, precise and fast transient response, favorable front/rear balance for neutral handling, substantial stopping power and smooth and comfortable ride.”
Acura achieved its handling goals by incorporating a fully independent front and rear double-wishbone suspension system (a type proven in Formula 1 race cars) and a speed-sensitive variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering system. The Integra features 262 mm (10.3 in) ventilated front discs, 239 mm (9.4 in) solid rear discs and anti-lock brakes on the top GS trim level. Finely tuned suspension geometry and spring rates along with unique gas-pressurized shock absorbers have helped the Integra achieve exceptional handling and ride quality.
Ergonomic seats and passive restraints
Acura improved the interior comfort of the second generation Integra with more headroom and legroom for front and rear occupants compared to the previous generation. Ergonomically designed front seats provide fatigue-reducing support for driver and passenger on long journeys and in all driving situations, including spirited maneuvers that create high side loads. A two-point motorized passive shoulder belt, active lap belt and knee bolsters designed to absorb impact energy from occupants’ knees keep front seat occupants in place. When the driver removes the ignition key, the harness moves forward and away.
Acura placed the analog instruments directly in the driver’s field of vision with a large speedometer and tachometer in the center for easy reading, and the low dash provides an unobstructed view of the road.
Acura offered several standard and optional AM/FM audio systems for the Integra line. The GS and LS trims included a stereo system with cassette deck, electronic seek tuning, auto preset function and four speakers.
Affordable Used Second Generation Acura Integra Models
Second-generation Acura Integra models depreciated like most cars that are now around 30 years old. The condition, age, mileage, trim level, and options of a used Integra (or any vehicle, for that matter) determine its value. A 1990 Acura Integra LS 4-door sedan with an original MSRP of $14,545 now sells for an average price of $1,700. According to Classic.com, the GS-R models held their value better than the standard versions. An Acura Integra GS-R (1992 to 1993) sells for an average of $16,563 with a recent high of $24,250 and a low of $10,000.