Honda has surprised the automotive world by bringing back the Prelude, a legendary nameplate that was discontinued in 2001. The new Honda Prelude is not a retro revival but a sleek coupe showcasing Honda’s hybrid technology and design prowess. The Prelude concept made its surprise North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show after being unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.
What is the Prelude Concept?
The Prelude concept is a two-door coupe that Honda says is “a vision of the future of electrified sports cars that prioritize the joy of driving.” The concept is not a pure electric vehicle but a hybrid combining a gasoline engine and electric motor. Honda has not revealed the exact specifications of the powertrain. Still, we can expect it to be more powerful and efficient than the current Honda Accord Hybrid, which produces 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque.
The Prelude concept features a sleek and aerodynamic body with a low and wide stance, a long hood, and a short rear deck. The front fascia is dominated by a large hexagonal grille flanked by slim LED headlights and air intakes. The side profile is smooth and elegant, with a sloping roofline and a distinctive character line that runs from the front fender to the rear taillight. The rear end is sporty and muscular, with a prominent spoiler, a diffuser, and dual exhaust tips. The concept rides on 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile tires.
The interior of the Honda Prelude concept is minimalist and futuristic, with a driver-focused cockpit and a spacious cabin. The dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen that displays the infotainment and navigation functions and the hybrid system information. The flat-bottomed steering wheel features paddle shifters and buttons for various driving modes. The seats are leather-trimmed and contoured, with contrast stitching and piping. The concept also features a digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, a wireless charging pad, and a premium sound system.
Why Did Honda Bring Back the Prelude?
The Prelude was one of Honda’s most iconic and beloved models, spanning five generations from 1978 to 2001. The Prelude was known for its sporty performance, innovative features, and stylish design. The Prelude was also one of the first Honda models to feature technologies such as four-wheel steering, variable valve timing, and an active torque transfer system. The Prelude was discontinued in 2001 due to declining sales and competition from other coupes and sports cars.
Honda decided to bring back the Prelude name to showcase its vision for the future of electrified sports cars and appeal to a new generation of drivers who value driving pleasure and environmental responsibility. Honda also wanted to honor its heritage and legacy and revive the passion and excitement the Prelude once inspired. The Prelude concept is not a direct successor to the previous models but a reinterpretation of the essence and spirit of the Prelude for the modern era.