Honda DC2 Integra Type-R (1995-2001)

Considered to be the one of the most hardcore cars of the late 90s, the DC2 Integra Type-R has a spec and performance that is still up there with today’s brand new hardcore hatches. A helical LSD, stainless steel 4-1 exhaust manifold, ported and polished head, Recaro bucket seats, over 100bhp per litre and a 9000rpm rev limit, the DC2 Type-R sounds like a tuned car. But this is actually the spec it left the factory in; this car is seriously hardcore.

The 1.8ltr engine can be quite hard work to drive, with very little power below 6000rpm and a peak torque of just 131lb-ft, but rev the engine hard like it was intended and you’ll see what the DC2 is all about. With serious acceleration matched to fantastic handling that can embarrass much more expensive and powerful cars.

The car weighs just 1160kg, hundreds of kilograms lighter than most modern hot hatches, and the chassis is super stiff too. They achieved this with yet more hardcore upgrades normally reserved for full race cars, including a thinner windscreen, spot welding around the suspension towers and subframe, and a lack of sound deadening.

You may have seen DC2s with different headlamp arrangements, and this was because JDM Type-Rs had large twin rectangular lights for the majority of their life, while UK models received quad headlamp front end also used on the American Integra Type-Rs.

It may be outgunned today by some of the most powerful hot hatches, but the DC2 is still so fast it can still easily show most of them the way home on a twisty road or race track. A true legend.

Honda Integra Type-R DC2
Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cylinder normally aspirated
Power: 187bhp
Torque: 131lb-ft
0-60: 6.8secs
Top Speed: 145mph
Weight: 1160kg