One of the most anticipated new sport sedans on the market has been the new 2024 Acura Integra Type S. The Integra nameplate itself returning made many a nostalgic enthusiast happy. The cheering was short as their next question was, “When is there going to be a high-powered version akin to the Honda Civic Type R?.

Enter the 320 horsepower Type S which yes gets is primary bits and pieces from the Civic Type R but before you go and assess this is just a Honda wearing a business suit there are a number of little things that set it apart and appeal to a different buyer set.

Because the buyer profile is a little bit more mature, perhaps more effete, the design language is luxury and a little less “boy racer” in its trappings. There is no giant wing that telegraphs to the world you loved Need For Speed. Here you still get aggression in its presentation but it’s more refined and passable in the executive parking garage.

The suspension settings with the automatically adjustable dampers are slightly softer, essentially one step down from the Civic Type R. The Integra is more tailored for every day life on the street than a balls out race track day. The settings are still quite aggressive but with a unique tire designed especially for the Type S, the grip, ride and feel are a step up.

The interior is a step up too, mostly. The design is unique with red and black in our test car. Feature content is up slightly with a power driver seat and memory settings. The tactile feel of the switch gear and fittings are good, as much of them are carried over from the Civic – a good thing.

Missing however at its $55,971 price as tested were a number of features one might expect at this price however. It’s heated seats are vinyl and faux suede, not leather and not ventilated. While the driver seat is powered, the passenger is still manual. Rear seat passengers have no AC vents and the trims back there are noticeably de-contented from the front row. Oh, and there is no sunroof.

Turning on its ELS powered audio system is a joy in its quality. The 9-inch infotainment display is nicely done with good graphics and it’s easy to understand from the start. It is however also missing some content at this price point such as navigation and a surround view monitor.

Not missing is performance though. It’s 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC four revs freely through a 6-speed manual transmission to its 7,000 rpm redline. What a song indeed. Notably, the Integra Type S has its own unique drive-by-wire throttle map so torque comes on faster in your foot’s trip to the floor. It doesn’t add more power so much but gives the perception that the engine is more willing and prompt than in the Type R. Nice.

We took it to our favorite windy road to stretch its legs and were made very happy by it’s romp in the park power and handling. While we love the Civic Type R, this is a step up in refinement and poise that we even loved more. It’s driving character and fun to drive character well overshadow it’s lack of small features here and there.

It makes our Id Buy It list just like the Civic Type R. The problem is we would have a hard time choosing which one.