We try and uphold the highest standards of journalistic objectivity here at AutoGuide, but we have a soft-spot for Honda cars, especially the “golden era” of the late 1980’s until the early 2000’s when double wishbones, light weight and VTEC engines ruled the day. Between the staff here, nearly every great Honda has passed through our driveways at one point or another, from the EG Civic Si to the NSX, as well as a couple Frankenstein B-Series swapped cars. The one glaring omission is the Integra Type-R. None of us have ever had one, due in part to high theft rates, high insurance premiums and a low supply of clean cars that have never been stolen, hacked up or salvaged.
The Integra Type-R is one of the few modern cars that will be collectible in the future, and probably closest in spirit to the Shelby GT350 Mustangs of the 1960’s. There’s no air-conditioning, no stereo, no soundproofing, no electronic driver aides, just a massaged VTEC motor, a wonderful 5-speed manual gearbox with a limited slip differential and the kind of handling that no front-wheel drive car has ever equaled.
InsideLine managed to track down an example that had been stored inside Honda’s Southern California complex and then sold to a Honda employee. The car was ran hard against a new 2010 Civic Si, and not surprisingly, it is still a potent sports car 12 years on. It’s never a good thing to live in the past, but reading about the Type-R leaves us with a pit-in-the-stomach sadness that there will never be another car like it, not with the direction Honda seems to be heading in. For those in a generation, raised on imports rather than muscle cars, the red “R” badge and red twin-cam valve covers will always be iconic in a way, and no matter how powerful they are, brushless motors and Alternating Current will never be able to fill that void.
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[Source: Inside Line]