Acura Integra - the "FR-S" of the Nineties

header As the current generation marvels over the Scion FR-S with its exciting handling, good looks and infinite performance potential, those of us who grew up modding cars before the Fast and Furious (yes, tuning didn't start with the movie) fondly remember sporty 2 doors such as the Nissan NX2000, Geo Storm, Mazda MX6/Ford Probe and of course, the Acura Integra. NOTE: All images used were scanned in from FILM. Doesn’t get anymore old school than that! Acura_Integra_Tuning_History_30 The Integra was the first sporty offering from Acura, the then-new, upscale luxury brand from Honda. Offered as 2-door hatchback, that even in sedan form it wasn't to be mistaken for it's sibling, the Honda Accord Coupe. The Acura Integra's front wheel drive, DOHC (dual overhead cam) engine, pop-up headlights, dual exhaust tips and a rear spoiler made it an aggressive-looking, sporty driver. Built in three generations from 1987 to 2001, the Integra was the first vehicle to debut Honda’s VTEC (Variable Valve Technology) motor in its 1992 GS-R model. For the purpose of this feature, we’re going to focus on the second generation (90-93). Acura_Integra_Tuning_History_34 Back in 1990, we didn’t have the bevy of aftermarket parts that we see today available at our disposal. Here comes the “walking to school thru 5 feet of snow story”...we didn't have the Internet, but we did have this thing called “The Recycler” - it was like Craigslist but printed! To be quite honest, a solid motor build would simply include headers, exhaust, air filter and NOS.  Throw on some lowering springs (cut to make sure it was low enough) and 15” SSR’s and call it a day. 10-second Honda’s weren't even dreamed of and Battle of the Imports was about to have its inaugural event. Acura_Integra_Tuning_History_35 Popular and hard to come by parts included:
  • One-piece wrap around Japan headlights with matching Stanley sidemarkers
  • A Mugen wing or 3 piece “AMS” wing
  • Exhaust provided by HKS or Mugen - custom “Ultra Flo” mufflers for those using NOS and for the wannabe’s...glasspacks
  • Headers by Lightspeed or S&S if you were low budget.
Acura_Integra_Tuning_History_33 Brands of choice (by "choice" read "only brand available") were quite an eclectic mix. No single tuner shop provided a complete package:
  • Aero was provided by Mugen, Kaminari or later, Wings West
  • Neuspeed, Trust (Greddy), Momo, Spoon and Sparco
Acura_Integra_Tuning_History_32 I guess you get the picture… When Scion released the FR-S last year, many of us pre-Fast and Furious enthusiasts began to reminisce over the cars that fueled our teenage tuning passion. The Scion FR-S is this generations Acura Integra. It fills a void that the Integra left when they ceased production of the RSX in 2006 - both are highly tunable, fun to drive, with sports styling and a manageable price tag. The FR-S has an opportunity to provide an amazing platform for years to come...perhaps one day current youngsters will reminisce about the FR-S while watching Fast and Furious 15! -Albert Roxas  


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