Honda has a long tradition in performance cars, with some of them already rapidly appreciating in value, including of course, the original Integra Type R.
An affordable boy racer of its time, the performance version of the series was a lightweight compact coupe fitted with a particularly revy 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that featured the company’s now legendary VTEC variable valve timing system. It was also the first Type R to be officially imported into Europe.
It’s no wonder why the Honda Integra Type R (DC2 for the geeks out there) is considered a true modern classic these days. Compared to the standard model, it came with a stiffer, seam-welded body shell for added rigidity, and of course, model-specific suspension and brakes.
European-specification cars were fitted with a 187hp (190PS) version of the naturally aspirated 1.8-liter VTEC engine that could rev up to 8,400rpm and paired to a close-ratio manual five-speed transmission -complete with the gorgeous titanium shift knob. A limited-slip differential up front made sure that everything is under control while kerb weight was just 1,140kg (2,513lbs).
Honda’s little screaming white demon is capable of a 0-62mph (100km/h) in 6.7 seconds and of a top speed of 145mph (233km/h). However, it was the way it went through the bends that truly gave it its legendary status, proving that front-wheel drive cars can offer one of the most exciting driving experiences in the automotive world.
In the video review that follows, Autocar’s Matt Prior elaborates on why he sees the first Honda Integra Type R as the best front-wheel drive performance car ever.