Last year, Acura’s dramatic announcement that the celebrated Integra nameplate would be making a return in 2022 set the automotive world abuzz. Like Kim being asked about Kanye (or vice-versa), the automaker was bombarded with questions about the modern-day version of its entry-level phenom and, as of this month, the details were finally laid out and you can now order a 2023 Acura Integra of your own. Speaking of—a surprise has sprung forth from those reservations that have already begun flowing in…
As of March 10, Acura’s Integra pre-order program has been underway and, according to Emile Korkor, Assistant Vice President of Acura sales, the reception has been exceptional. “We are absolutely thrilled with the pre-launch response to the 2023 Integra. The total number of reservations has far exceeded our expectations and most exciting is that around 70 percent of Integra reservations are for the 6-speed manual. We’re confident this new Integra will inspire a new generation of enthusiasts buyers for the Acura brand.”
Hold up—seventy percent of pre-orders so far are for the stick-shift model? More surprising is that the manual is available only on the top-dog A-Spec trim level. Unlike the mechanically related Honda Civic Si, which is only armed with a six-speed manual, the Integra is offered in both CVT and 3-pedal form, with the CVT being standard on the entry-level model. The Integra one-ups the Honda, somewhat, by combining the Si powertrain with a five-door hatchback body style—a combo you can’t get on the Civic, though the upcoming (more powerful) Civic Type R will be hatch-only.
Proof Is In The Pudding
We know car enthusiasts hate to hear it, but the masses prefer to avoid needing to select their own gears, hence why there are so few manual transmission options at your local dealerships these days. A 70 percent manual take rate (and, yes, we know, these are pre-orders) is a significant indicator that proves there are still corners of the market to where those of us that prefer to stir our own gears flock. It should be noted that historically, the Integra has enjoyed a 56 percent manual-transmission take rate across its various generations and model types. Even if you’re not a fan of the new Integra, this latest news makes a difference, especially if you want to keep seeing manual options put forth by automakers.
Had Acura only offered a CVT option, there’s little doubt the automotive social media bubble might have consequently imploded. The digital jury is always swift and harsh with any new vehicle debuts, and the modern Integra has not been spared by any means. However, Honda and Acura continue putting forth considerable effort to feed the enthusiast market cars fans can tinker with and hopefully encourage a whole new generation of potential tuners and buyers. Love it or hate it, the new Integra is crucial in helping to nudge the #savethemanuals movement forward.