Talk Like a Pirate Day, sadly comes but once a year. With today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Acura however, you can swashbuckle year round, as it's a GS-Arrrr.
There isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate a good dump, but for six-large, hardly anyone appreciated yesterday's SBC-powered Toyota Hilux, even with its dumper bed. That fact was reflected in its Hershey squirtalicious 80% Crack Pipe loss. Oh what a feeling, indeed. Today, in contrast to that Frankenyota, let's take stock.
By the early eighties, Honda was enjoying some enviable levels of customer loyalty and retention. That being said, consumers' tastes mature, and for some, even the Accord offered insufficient size and luxury. To keep those buyers from straying from the fold, Honda introduced the Acura brand to the U.S. market in 1986. The initial offerings were still based on Honda platforms – Accord in the case of the Legend, and Civic, by way of the non-U.S. market Quint, for the Integra.
The Legend soldiered on for years, offering its comatose buyers competent but uninspiring sedan and big coupe action with a pinch of aluminum V6 excessive oil consumption thrown in. The Integra, being smaller than a Legend, but bigger than a Civic, fell into that sweet spot of size and performance so avidly proselytized by Goldilocks as just right. And for those of you now thinking about Goldilocks and another kind of sweet spot, may a bear eat you, you perv.
The Integra went through two generations before today's version hit the market. Over that time it gained performance and competence, and provided, along with the NSX, a valid sporting cred for the upscale Honda division. This GS-R edition, in stealth white, represents the upper mid-grade of the Integra line up for '98, possibly garnering it the Goldilocks seal of approval. Neither RS, LA, or luxo-GS, nor Type-R rabid, the GS-R has proven to be a popular canvas for tuners to express their inner Mugen, and finding lambo doors, hacked turbo mods or ass-kicker subs in one never comes as a surprise.
Maybe that's the reason this apparently bone stock 106,000 mile coupe does seem so surprising. Yeah, it's not a Type-R, but then again, just because ground round isn't filet mignon doesn't mean an In N Out Double Double isn't a damn tasty burger.
Here you get a 1,797-cc VTEC four pumping out 170-bhp at 7800 rpm. On the downside, it also produces only 128 lb-ft of torque @ 6800, making pretty sure the party doesn't start until 6:30 sharp. Of course it has a five speed gearbox, in this case an extremely short-geared one that makes highway cruising kind of a high-rev chore. Along with the VTEC-enabled 170 ponies, the GS-R gets an 8000 rpm redline and a tower brace under the bonnet. Below that is Honda's sweet double A-Arm suspension and an ABS enabled disc brake at each corner, along with 15" alloy wheels. Remember when 15" wheels were the big ones?
All that mechanical mumbo jumbo is good for a zero to sixty time of tick over 7 seconds, and a top speed of 132 mph. Contemporary testers described acceleration runs as explosive due to the sudden onset of power, but then who doesn't like the feel of lighting a JATO halfway up the onramp? That feeling will go along with the feel of mouse fur upholstery and an expansive cabin afforded by an extremely low cowl line. The interior here is as clean as the outside, and is as fine an example of ‘90s styling and seat patterns as anything you could find. New for 1998 was dead cow for both the steering wheel as well as for the phallic shift knob. Up top the glass roof (unavailable on the Type R due to weight savings) allows the light to shine in, and as the dealer selling this car has made sure the dash is drowning in ArmorAll, you'd probably want to wear some shades before getting in during daylight hours.
If you did get in, you might want to consider its price. As you would expect of a savvy dealer, the price is a fin below the next big jump, in this case $6,995. What do you think, is that too much, too little, or, in Goldilocks parlance, just right.
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