JDM Integra Options Never Sold in the US

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Honda Integra was originally manufactured for three generations, from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s. In the US market, the cars were badged and sold under the Acura name, which is Honda’s luxury brand here in the states. Naturally, buyers in the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) had access to a wider range of options throughout the years.

The JDM DC5 Integra Type R never came to the US market

2001 Honda Integra Type R DC5 | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

Starting with the third generation or DC5 Integra, Acura changed the name to RSX in the US market. While the US did receive the highest-tier Type R version of the previous DC2 Integra, the DC5 Type R never made it stateside. It was only sold in Japan and New Zealand, per Garage Dreams.

The JDM DC5 Type R had the highest output 2.0-liter K20 engine available, with 220 hp and redlined at 8400 RPM. Honda strengthened the six-speed manual for Typr R duty with triple-cone synchros for first and second gear, and double-cone for the rest. Four-piston brake calipers were equipped upfront with 300mm rotors and Ferodo pads for excellent stopping power.

The 1993 DC2 Si-VTEC was like a GSR but was available with an auto trans

Silver DC2 Integra
Silver DC2 Integra | Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Very early DC2 Integras were sold through Honda Verno stores in Japan and had some rather strange characteristics. For one thing, they had round quad headlights just like the US-spec DC2. That design eventually went away for Japan in 1995, when JDM models got a new front end.

The top model of early JDM DC2s was the Si-VTEC, which featured the legendary B18C engine that was later used in the GSR. In Japan, however, it could be paired with an automatic transmission. The redline was reduced on the early automatic Si-VTECs to 7500 RPM, whereas manual GSRs could rev higher.

JDM and exported DC1 Integras were built with SOHC D-series engines

Honda D-series engine
Honda SOHC D-series engine | Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Another DC Integra variant that never made it to the US was the DC1. Rather than DOHC engines typically found in the Integra, these had SOHC ZC motors of the D-series family. Since they were intended as base models, they were not equipped with VTEC. Aside from JDM sales, some were also exported to Europe.

While US-based Integra fans might find a D-series Integra to be strange at first, it makes sense. Underneath, the EG/EK Civic and DC Integra share quite a bit, and the ZC was a simple and proven engine for commuter car use. Not every Integra buyer wanted or needed the DC2 GSR or Type R’s screaming performance.

Final thoughts

While the Acura Integra sold in the US was intended for a relatively narrow market segment, the Honda Integra had a much wider spectrum in Japan. From economy-spec DC1s with non-VTEC engines to the priciest DC5 Type R, many were not originally sold stateside. However, with the ability to import JDM cars older than 25 years, it is now possible to bring some of these Integras over to be enjoyed.

Related: Unique JDM Cars That Nobody Buys

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