1998 Acura Integra Type R -- Introduction
Available in early 1998, the limited-edition Integra Type R Sports Coupe has been developed to maximize the sporty car's dynamic capabilities and further emphasize Acura's belief that driving is its own reward. There were three primary targets during the development process: performance, handling and control, and an exciting driving experience. Engineering teams, which included racing veterans from the Formula One ranks, incorporated the dynamic essence of true race cars while developing the Type R, and thoroughly carried the "driving pleasure" theme through every stage of development. Not surprisingly, a heavy emphasis was placed on the Type R's performance on the racetrack during development, all in an effort to deliver an exciting car with exceptional acceleration, braking and handling capabilities.
CONCEPTS AND GOALS
The Integra Type R Sports Coupe was designed to achieve:
- Quick response and acceleration through its high-revving VTEC engine;
- Outstanding cornering response thanks, in part, to a lower center of gravity and track-tuned suspension to enable linear cornering with minimal understeer;
- Enhanced braking performance with larger-capacity, fade-resistant brakes designed to withstand severe racetrack test conditions;
- Unique styling and exclusive features such as a Type R-exclusive rear wing spoiler, 5-bolt alloy wheels, Type R graphics, exclusive "Championship White" exterior color.
The limited edition model first joined the Acura Integra line-up in 1997 and was an overnight sensation. Like its fellow Integra models, the Type R features numerous technological innovations that maximize performance and handling, and provide high levels of safety, durability and efficiency. However, it goes a step further by embodying the spirit and technological achievements demonstrated in Formula One racing. Thus, it is clear that engineers placed a heavy emphasis on the performance characteristics of the Type R during development.
Like other 1998 Integra models, the Type R features new front and rear facias along with restyled combination lamps. The Type R also features a rear wiper/washer unit for added convenience.
Key performance features of the Integra Type R include:
- 195-horsepower 1.8-liter dual overhead cam 16-valve VTEC inline 4-cylinder engine that provides more horsepower per liter than any normally aspirated mass-produced engine in the U.S.;
- Hand-polished intake and exhaust ports and single-port intake manifold;
- An exhaust system with a larger diameter to allow larger volume flow;
- Overall vehicle weight reduced by 93 lbs. (42 kg);
- Torque-sensitive helical limited slip differential;
- Lower overall vehicle height (by 15 mm) and aerodynamic refinements that result in 30% less lift (Cl) and 1% less drag (Cd);
- Racetrack-calibrated suspension and high-performance tires;
- Larger disk brakes with performance-oriented calipers;
- Refined Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS);
- Reinforced unit body structure.
- A number of other features were added to heighten the sporty appeal of the Type R, including:
- Chin spoiler, wing-type rear spoiler, and body-colored side sills;
- Lightweight aluminum alloy wheels that match the Type R's exclusive color - Championship White;
- Sport-style seats;
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob;
- Exclusive Type R ignition key;
- Special serial number plate affixed to the center console;
- Carbon fiber-like instrumentation design with amber illumination;
- "Type R" graphics.
In the true spirit of racing, a select number of comfort and convenience features on the Integra Type R have been eliminated in an effort to minimize the vehicle's overall weight. These include items such as a sunroof, vanity mirrors, cruise control. Air conditioning becomes optional equipment. Other items that have been eliminated for weight considerations include dashboard insulator, transmission mount, drive shaft and shifter dynamic damper, and melt-sheet for the floor stamping.
Key safety features of the Type R include:
- Standard driver's and front passenger's Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bags on all models;
- 3-point seat belts;
- Projector beam headlights;
- Front and rear crumple zones
- Side-impact protection.