Honda Prelude becomes latest Japanese legend coming back to life

Posted on July 9, 2024Comments Off on Honda Prelude becomes latest Japanese legend coming back to life

The Honda Prelude coupe is making its long-awaited return, being resurrected more than two decades after it exited production.

Honda teased its Prelude revival at last year’s Japan Mobility Show, previewing an electrified sports car with no word on whether it would eventually become a road-ready model the public could buy.

That announcement was made overnight, as Honda confirmed the Prelude will enter production once again in the near future, first for the European market.

An Australian launch is as yet unconfirmed, however Honda’s trademark application to retain the Prelude name was filed last year and subsequently approved in recent months.

“Unfortunately, Honda Australia is unable to provide any information regarding the prelude heading to the Australian market at this time,” a spokesperson for the brand told CarExpert.

Global details about the Honda Prelude are scant, though the carmaker makes it clear the returning sports car will be a “hybrid electric” – likely adopting an electrified drivetrain from its existing lineup.

Honda’s hybrid model range – which includes e:HEV versions of the Civic, HR-V, ZR-V, CR-V and Accord – utilise variations of a common 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

The CVT incorporates two electric motors, one which supplies power and the other which recuperates battery energy, to supplement the petrol engine and deliver drive to the front wheels.

In the Civic, this combination produces up to 135kW of power and 315Nm of torque, though the heavier Accord scores an increase to 152kW and 335Nm.

Though there is also the high-performance Civic Type R in the brand’s lineup – whose turbocharged 2.0-litre would prove to be a natural successor to the famed later 2.2-litre VTEC-equipped Preludes – this engine isn’t available with hybrid assistance.

Honda has also opened the door for a potential electric Prelude, as it moves to kill off petrol vehicles by the end of 2040.

“In addition, the Prelude demonstrates the continued importance of hybrid powertrains as part of Honda’s automobile electrification strategy – a key step towards our commitment for 100% of new vehicle sales to be battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell by 2040,” said Tomoyuki Yamagami, Honda’s Chief Engineer and Large Project Leader.

Like its predecessors, it’s understood the new Prelude will be a four-seater, making it more of a rival to the rear-wheel drive Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ twins, rather than the Mazda MX-5.

Unfortunately there are no images of its interior, however with the Prelude going on display at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, we can expect to see more of the hybrid coupe in the near future.

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