Honda has surprised the automotive world by unveiling the Prelude concept, a sleek two-door coupe that revives a name from the past. The Prelude concept debuted North American at the Los Angeles Auto Show just weeks after being revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show. The concept car previews a future hybrid model that Honda says will prioritize “the joy of driving” and performance.
The Prelude Concept: A Modern Interpretation of a Sporty Coupe
The Honda Prelude concept is a modern interpretation of a sporty coupe with a low and wide stance, a long hood, and a short rear deck. The front fascia features a large grille with a prominent Honda logo flanked by slim LED headlights. A sloping roofline, muscular fenders, and large wheels characterize the side profile. The rear end has a distinctive LED light bar that spans the width of the car, as well as a dual exhaust system and a diffuser.
The concept car is painted in a striking blue color that Honda calls “Prelude Blue Pearl.” The color is a homage to the original Prelude, launched in 1978 as Honda’s first mass-produced coupe. The concept car also features some design elements that are inspired by the previous generations of the Prelude, such as the triangular side windows and the C-shaped taillights.
The interior of the Prelude concept is a minimalist and driver-focused cockpit with a digital instrument cluster, a large touchscreen, and a sporty steering wheel. The concept car will also have a two-plus-two seating configuration, meaning it will have two front seats and two small rear seats.
The Prelude Concept: A Hybrid Powertrain That Delivers Performance and Efficiency
The Honda Prelude concept is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a gasoline engine and an electric motor. Honda has not revealed the exact specifications of the powertrain, but it says it will deliver “high output and high efficiency” and “a smooth and powerful acceleration feel.”
The hybrid system will also have a sports mode, enhancing the throttle response, steering feel, and engine sound. The concept car will also have a regenerative braking system, which will recover energy during deceleration and store it in a battery.
The Prelude concept will be a front-wheel drive car, as all the previous generations of the Prelude were. However, Honda says it will use a new technology called “e-4WS”, which stands for “electric four-wheel steering.” This system will allow the rear wheels to steer independently from the front wheels, improving the handling and stability of the car.
The Prelude Concept: A Preview of a Future Production Model
The Prelude concept is not just a show car but a preview of a future production model that Honda plans to launch in the next few years. Honda says the Prelude will be one of the first models to use its new “e:HEV” brand, which will be applied to all its hybrid vehicles.
The Prelude will also be part of Honda’s strategy to electrify its entire lineup by 2030, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Honda says it will offer a variety of electrified vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric vehicles, and fuel-cell vehicles, to meet the diverse needs and preferences of its customers.
The Honda Prelude will also mark the return of a classic name to Honda’s lineup after a long hiatus. The Prelude was discontinued in 2001 after five generations and 23 years of production. The Prelude was known for its sporty design, innovative features, and fun-to-drive character, and it gained a loyal fan base worldwide.
The Honda Prelude will join the recently revived Acura Integra Type S, another iconic name from Honda’s past, which will also be launched as a new hybrid coupe in 2023. Together, the Prelude and the Integra will represent Honda’s commitment to offering exciting and engaging sports cars while embracing electrification and sustainability.