Honda unveils sporty two-door coupe concept, revives Prelude nameplate

Honda Prelude (

Honda’s Prelude Concept makes a return at the Japan Mobility Show, confirming the brand’s commitment to sporty models in the age of electric propulsion.

Honda, which has been predominantly associated with practical and efficient vehicles, surprised enthusiasts with the unveiling of its Prelude Concept at the Japan Mobility Show. The concept marks the return of the iconic Prelude nameplate after a 22-year hiatus and reiterates Honda’s dedication to delivering driving joy even in an era of electric mobility.

The last production of the Prelude was the fifth generation, which ran from 1996 to 2001 and featured iconic variants like the Prelude Type S in Japan and the North American Prelude Type SH. Equipped with a 2.2-liter inline-four engine producing up to 200 horsepower, the Prelude was celebrated for its sporty front-wheel-drive setup and was available with a five-speed manual transmission.

This new concept, though lacking specific details, represents a significant step towards reviving Honda’s sporty coupe offerings. While some enthusiasts were hoping for an S2000 revival, the return of the Prelude has been well-received. The concept’s compact size and sleek design place it in a category similar to the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ. Although the static concept doesn’t reveal its interior, the proportions hint at a potential second row of seats, akin to its sports car competitors. Whether the production model will feature a rear-wheel-drive layout remains to be confirmed.

While Honda didn’t divulge all the specifications, Honda’s President Toshihiro Mibe hinted that this concept is destined for production. He noted, “At the automobile electrification business briefing we held last year, I talked about future sports models. Today, to conclude my presentation, I would like to show you one of them – the specialty sports model.” Despite the shift to electric power, Mibe emphasized that the primary focus of this model, regardless of its powertrain, will be on delivering an exceptional “joy of driving.” He also reassured that Honda is rapidly advancing its electric vehicle systems and urged everyone to maintain high expectations for this upcoming model. The production version is expected to be unveiled by the end of 2024.