Acura Shoots Down Rumor of 2023 Integra Getting SH-AWD | Edmunds

  • According to a dealer page, the Integra was slated to get Acura’s SH-AWD system.
  • Acura was quick to call it a mistake.
  • Reservations open March 10, so final details should be announced soon.

The 2023 Acura Integra is one of the more highly anticipated nameplates to make a comeback in recent years. The Integra debuted when Acura launched stateside in 1986, and though it was always available in more practical forms, the high-performance models have lived on as enthusiast favorites. Fans of the sport compact have been hoping for a revival ever since the last Integra stopped production after 2001 (or if you count the RSX, 2006) — and they’re finally getting it. Pre-orders open March 10 for the Honda Civic-derived 2023 Integra, and with that date rapidly approaching, the rumor mill is working overtime.

Here’s what we heard about the very intriguing idea of an Integra SH-AWD.

Dealer’s “First Look” sparks a flurry of speculation

On February 22, there was some chatter on the Integra Talk forum — first reported by The Truth About Cars — that the upcoming 2023 Integra would be available with Acura’s nifty torque-apportioning Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). The source was a “First Look” written by staff at a dealership based in Wisconsin. While the page has since been scrubbed clean of AWD references, the Wayback Machine knows better. Nestled in the page’s original description of the Integra, which fits all the main points Acura has already confirmed, including a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, an available six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential, we see this sentence:

When winter rolls around and covers the roads with rain, ice, and snow, you’ll be happy to have the available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ system to increase your traction in these circumstances and prevent any sliding.”

That would be a huge surprise, but not one that’s outside the realm of possibility. Not a day later, however, Acura had responded to several outlets to put the matter to rest, alleging that the dealer had simply made a mistake. Acura told Carscoops, “The Integra will continue a tradition of being one of the best driving, front-wheel drive vehicles on the market. We look forward to sharing additional details on the all-new Integra soon.”

Case closed? Maybe.

Though Acura has responded and called the information a mistake on the dealer’s part, adding AWD to the Integra isn’t a bad idea by any stretch. Given Acura’s clear desire to differentiate the Integra from the workaday Civic it’s based upon, a SH-AWD option would make a lot of sense. The lack of AWD on the Civic platform in any other region makes it a less likely possibility, but we know the CR-V has always been closely related to the Civic, so could Acura’s engineers start with the CR-V’s AWD configuration and go from there?

A different approach would be the addition of AWD by way of partial electrification, similar to the NSX supercar. We’ve been waiting for the trickle-down effect to start with the hybrid technology introduced on the NSX, and adding an electric motor to the rear of the Integra in a performance application would be a novel solution. With more automakers investing in hybrid and electric powertrains, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Acura go that direction with the Integra. But we wouldn’t exactly bet on it either.

Edmunds says

With just a few weeks left until reservations open, the Integra is going to make a splash whether or not it gets power to all four corners. But what a great rejoinder that would be to everyone who’s been trying to write off the 2023 Integra as a Civic Si by another name.

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