The revised Interga Type R (DC2)

1998 Honda Integra Type R (98 Spec R DC2)

As if to prove to the world they had not lost their mojo, Honda came up with a n improved version of the DC2 called the 98 Spec R. It had a revised 1.8-litre VTEC engine that pumped out an identical 200 bhp from just 1.8-litres but the torque had been substantially improved to 181 Nm thanks to a 4-1 stainless steel header. This would remain the highest specific output from any Honda engine except for the JDM S2000 with 250 bhp from just 2-litres.

With identical power Honda engineers had to come up with a clever raft of changes to ensure this second version would have a performance advantage over the 96 Spec R.

The gear ratios held the greatest benefit and they are compared below:-

         96 Spec R       98 Spec R
1st    3.230              3.230
2nd   2.105              2.105
3rd    1.458              1.458
4th    1.107              1.034
5th    0.848              0.787
Final  4.440              4.785

The ratios 1-2-3 are similar but the 4-5 ratios are much taller because Honda fitted a very low 4.785 final drive so while it gets away faster up to 140 km/h, the 96 Spec R pegs it dead even at the 400m mark.

The excellent chassis/suspension gets minor revisions :-

                          96 Spec R    98 Spec R
Front springs     4.4 kg/mm   4.5 kg/mm
Rear springs      2.5-4.4        2.5-4.5
Front dampers   245/161      231/142 (rebound/compression)
Rear dampers    118/70        120/59
Anti roll bar F     23.5mm       24.5mm
R                        21.5mm       22.8mm
Tyres                 195/55/15   215/45/16 (5-bolt pattern)

Honda made numerous changes to arrive at the 98 Spec R, almost every performance component has been tweaked for a small edge, showing just how close these cars are to being at the absolute maximum performance yet accepted as a road-going Honda not an all out race car. Also shows just how close to perfect the original 96 Spec R was. Of course the effort was not wasted on the 98 Spec R as it could eke out a lap time advantage because of better gearing, engine torque and grippier tyres. The last item gives the 98 Spec R a huge improvement in braking distances and the larger brakes give better stamina.

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