The original and first-generation Acura Integra debuted in 1986 and came as a two-door or four-door hatchback. Both styles were available in a base RS or more luxurious LS trim and were powered by a 113-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission was standard, and a four-speed automatic was available as an option. In 1988, Acura increased engine output to 118 hp, but most of its power was still too high in the rev band to match the lower torque curves of its sports coupe competition.
In 1990, Acura remedied the problem when it released the second-generation Integra. Again offered in two body styles (this time with a four-door sedan), this Integra was more sophisticated and was powered by a new 1.8-liter four-cylinder that made 130 hp. In addition to the RS and LS trims, Acura added a GS trim. It was a "top of the line" trim with added standard equipment, such as antilock brakes and an upgraded interior. All models came standard with a five-speed manual, with a four-speed automatic being optional.
In 1992, Acura bumped power output up to 140 hp. That same year, Acura introduced the Integra GS-R, a performance-oriented trim that was powered by an all-new 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine making 160 hp. It also was the first time Acura applied its variable valve timing system (VTEC) in a car other than the NSX. The GS-R was designated a pure driver's car and came exclusively with a close ratio five-speed manual transmission. It was also equipped with a good deal of standard equipment, such as antilock brakes, a moonroof and power locks and windows.