Update: Added information on modifications to the car for racing.
The Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) has long been the season-ending event for professional stage rally organizations in the US. True to its name, it takes place in mid-October about as far north in Michigan as you can get, and it's known for two things: intense fall colors and big jumps. For members of the Honda of America Racing Team (HART), it's also where this new rallytastic Integra will make its debut.
The team shared the news recently on Instagram, along with a stack of photos showing the Integra from pretty much every angle. The post explains that it was built by employees at the Honda Auto Development Center in Raymond, Ohio, to help them expand their abilities in fabrication and construction.
We contacted the team for details on the project. Competing in the American Rally Association (ARA) Limited 2WD category means a largely stock vehicle, including the brake calipers and powertrain. It has upgraded brake pads, springs and dampers to handle jumps, and naturally, it's fitted with all the necessary safety gear such as a roll cage and chassis reinforcement.
The car is a standard Integra versus the hotter Type S. That means the engine is the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder making around 200 horsepower. There are no interior images to share at this time, but given the nature of the rally, we'll assume gears are shifted manually through the factory six-speed stick. That's not to say you can't go rally racing with an automatic – we spent time with Toyota a few years back in a RAV4 rally car and it did pretty darn good with its automatic transmission doling out power.
While HART isn't an official Honda racing effort, the team's Instagram page says members are company employees who have support from the automaker. A quick check at the LSPR entry list confirms the 2023 Acura Integra is present and accounted for, with Chris Sladek and John Sharps listed as the driver/co-driver team.
The 2023 Lake Superior Performance Rally moves to Marquette, Michigan this year after a long stretch in Houghton. It's the 8th and final round of the ARA National Championship Series, running October 13 and 14.