Want to own one of the finest front-wheel-drive cars of all time without breaking the bank? We’ve got you covered. The Honda Integra Type R was among the first cars with Honda’s sporting motif to come to Europe, and what an arrival it was.
A genuinely groundbreaking car, the Integra Type R first landed in UK dealerships in 1997 after two years of being on sale in its native Japan. It didn’t take long to see why the car had so many fans in its home country.
It was powered by a naturally aspirated 1.8-litre VTEC petrol engine with hand-finished intake ports and high-compression pistons, which contributed to an output of 187bhp, 131lb ft and a redline of 8700rpm.
Drive was managed by a five-speed close-ratio manual gearbox. This, in tandem with a low kerb weight of 1140kg, helped to ensure the Integra was good for 0-62mph in just 6.5sec and its top speed was 145mph.
Because the Type R version of the Integra was homologated for racing, it gained a stronger chassis, improved bushes, a thicker anti-roll bar and a limited-slip differential. To save weight, it lost its spare wheel cover, was fitted with a slimmer windscreen and gained Recaro sports seats.
The results are staggering: the Type R grabs the tightest of corners by the scruff of the neck and it is regarded by many to be one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars ever. In addition, it comes with the promise of Honda reliability (mad tuning notwithstanding).
Prices are on the up due to the model’s relative scarcity and its growing status as a cult hero. We found one for £13,250 (1999, 110,000 miles). It has been undersealed and its owner claims it’s rust- and dent-free. Much of the car is standard. The only additions are a 4-2-1 manifold and Powerflow stainless steel exhaust system.