Honda Integra Type R (DC2) is a 141kW front-drive hero

Fondly remembered as one of the world’s best handling front wheel drive cars, the Integra Type R was a no beg-your-pardons hot hatch.

It doesn’t sound like a lot now, but the Integra Type R’s 141kW VTEC engine was a revelation at the time — remember that back then this type of power typically required a 3-litre V6.

The screaming 1.8-litre VTEC engine produced maximum power (141kW/189hp) at 7,900rpm and had a rev limiter that cut in north of 8,500pm. Don’t forget too that you had to row that sweet 5-speed manual gearbox for all that it was worth, because with just 178Nm (131lb-ft) of torque on hand — at a sky high 6,300rpm — the engine needed to be revved hard and revved often.

In an effort to save weight Honda stripped out around 44kg (98lb) of gear, including sound deadening and air conditioning. Overall the Type R tipped the scales at 27kg lighter than the outgoing VTi-R model, as the little Honda that could required a lot of additional bracing.

Standard equipment on Type R included body hugging Recaro sports bucket seats, a Momo steering wheel, 15-inch alloy wheels, a giant rear wing, twin front airbags, ABS, power windows and mirrors, titanium gear knob and faux carbon fibre trim.

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]