The 2024 Acura Integra Type S and 2023 Honda Civic Type R are out together and roaming the streets, inspiring debates between owners over the crucial question: Which one is better? Well, after some investigation by legendary tuner Hondata, the Integra Type S might have taken a point for team Acura with a slightly spicier factory ECU tune. That extra five horsepower Acura claims is actually real.
While cracking open the Type S ECU, Hondata got a good look at the factory tune and compared it to the Civic Type R. The two cars are mechanically identical, sharing the exact same engine, turbocharger, gearbox, suspension, and ECU. Where Acura can make the difference compared to its Honda sibling is in the calibration of the individual componentry of the Type S. Based on what Hondata found, Acura turned the knobs on almost every aspect of the Type S tune.
The changes are slight—two degrees more ignition timing under boost on average, a slightly leaner air/fuel ratio, and a slightly higher torque limit help increase power output. The knock threshold is also changed to allow the more aggressive ignition timing to do its thing without the ECU pulling power for the higher risk of knock. Finally, the throttle calibration is more aggressive, though Acura acknowledges that officially. All of that should account for the extra five horsepower that Acura claims.
The Integra Type S runs the same Bosch ECU as the Type R, meaning tuning both cars is more akin to tuning a European car than a Japanese car. This simultaneously simplifies and complicates the tuning process, because Bosch ECUs run an extremely advanced model that runs (generally speaking) off of a requested torque target. But the advantage is that the stock ECU is extremely capable, highly tuneable, and very safe to tune with thanks to good self-protection strategies.
Once both cars are tuned, they should make identical power. But from the factory, there is indeed a reason for the Type S having five extra horsepower. All it took was a little bit of spice.
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