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SEE ALSO:Acura Buyer's Guide

The completely redesigned 1994 Integra represents the third generation model of a nameplate that has only been in production for a little over eight years. As the bargain-priced performance-oriented counterpart to the luxurious up-scale Acura Legend, the all new Integra GS-R provides an excellent example of the combination of modern automotive technology with practicality. Much of its technology is derived through Honda's heavy ten year investment in Formula One racing, as well as its experience with the highly advanced, limited production, Acura NSX two-seater sports car. The practicality is borne out by the new four-door Integra GS-R sedan which provides all of the styling and comfort of a traditional sports car, combined with the convenience of four wide-opening doors.

The Integra is available in two models, coupe and sedan, and three trim levels, RS, LS and GS-R. While each version of the Integra has an updated four-cylinder, 16-valve, double overhead cam 1.8 liter engine under its streamlined hood, the GS-R utilizes Honda's VTEC technology for added power and performance. Besides its fresh new design it also features a stiffer platform and a great new interior. Test drives around a closed course plus normal city and highway driving left these impressions:

APPEARANCE: With the exception of a very slightly modified roof line and four-doors it looks just like the two-door Integra. This styling was done on purpose to instill a sport coupe appearance in the sedan. The low-nose, high rear wedge shape is dominated by four small round high-intensity headlamps, and is reminiscent of the Acura NSX sports car. Other exterior features include a power moonroof, wide power door mirrors, a side rub strip, five-spoke alloy wheels and Michelin low-profile performance tires.

COMFORT: The two additional doors transform the GS-R sedan into a truly comfortable sports car. Rear seat spaciousness is a rarity, as styling normally takes precedence over comfort in sports car design. When compared to the coupe, all interior dimensions are slightly larger in every direction. The manually adjustable cloth covered front seats provide firm but comfortable support, and now offer lumbar support. The new analog instrument panel is striking in appearance as well as visibility. The heater/air conditioner quietly keeps the passenger area at a comfortable temperature. A six-speaker combination AM/FM/cassette deck fills the cabin with great sound. Other standard equipment includes power side mirrors, windows and door locks, a lockable fold down rear seat, a center console with armrest and drink holder, and cruise control plus remote trunk and fuel door releases.

SAFETY: Though a sports car, the GS-R is a sports car loaded with safety features, many of which are designed into this sedan. In addition to the visible dual front air bags and outboard three-point seat belts the Integra offers invisible childproof rear door locks, front and rear crumple zones, five mile-per-hour front and rear bumpers, side-impact door beams as well as side-intrusion hip and shoulder pads.

ROADABILITY: Acura has made many improvements and refinements to the body structure, the suspension system, as well as the braking, steering and braking systems in this third generation Integra to provide it with sports car riding and handling characteristics. It utilizes larger 15-inch wheels mounted with Michelin low-profile, all-weather, speed-rated P195/55R15 tires for good road-holding properties. The four-wheel disc anti-lock braking system has been refined to reduce the possibility of wheel lockup and to provide straight line stopping. The GR-S sedan delivers a controlled and well-balanced ride. New insulation and weather stripping provide quietness while touring down the highway or on the city streets.

PERFORMANCE: The heart of the GS-R's performance potential is its improved 4-cylinder, 1.8 liter engine equipped with Honda's VTEC system. When installed in combination with the new dual-stage manifold the VTEC system automatically adjusts a complex valve timing mechanism to deliver the desirable blend of low rpm torque and high rpm power. This provides a broad torque band, which means that regardless of engine speed or gear setting there is usable power available when it is needed . The GS- R is equipped with a short-throw, close-ratio, smooth shifting five-speed manual transmission that is designed to match the engines' performance characteristics. An automatic transmission not available.


Base Price$ 19.980
Price As Tested$ 20,434
Engine TypeI-4, dohc-16v, mpfi, VTEC**
Engine Size1.8 liter/110 cid
Horsepower170 @ 7600
Torque (ft/lbs)128 @ 6200
Transmissionfive speed manual w/od
Curb Weight2780
Pounds per Horsepower16
Fuel Capacity13
Fuel RequirementUnleaded premium (91 oct)
TireMichelin XGT-V4 P195/55R15 84V M+S
Brakeanti-lock standard disc/disc
Drive Trainfront engine/front drive
** VTEC - Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control
EPA Economy - miles per gallon,
0 to 60 mph7.0 sec
1/4 mi (E.T.)15.6 sec
Coefficient of drag (cd).32