Honda Brings Back an Iconic Nameplate at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show
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It’s been over 20 years since a new Honda Prelude last left a Honda dealership in America. That may be about to change. Late last night, Honda debuted a new Honda Prelude Concept at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show. Presented by company President Toshihiro Mibe, the Honda Prelude Concept is a sign that Honda won’t abandon its roots even in an all-electric driving future.
The new Honda Prelude is a sleek sports car EV concept
Boasting undoubtedly sleek styling, the Prelude Concept is a good-looking vehicle, even in concept form. It features a long, sloping hood and a steeply raked front windshield for a classic front-engine look. The roof then tapers quickly toward a short deck, ala Porsche 718 Cayman.
The Concept is sitting on Honda Civic Type R Wheels that barely disguise blue blue-painted brake calipers below. And around back, a subtle spoiler appears lifted at the ends and flush in the center.
Honda presented the two-door all-electric coupe during a press conference in which Mibe discussed Honda’s desire to ‘transcend’ and ‘augment’ Honda’s mobility options. Specifically, Mibe wanted to express that, despite Honda’s diversification into various forms of personal transportation, the brand still wants to embody “the joy of driving” in the EV era.
Dubbed the “specialty sports model”, the Prelude Concept is already well underway. Mibe remarked, “We are diligently progressing with development, so please keep your expectations high for this model.”
When will the new Honda Prelude Concept go on sale?
As this was simply the new Honda Prelude’s unveiling, Honda released no details regarding pre-orders or sales. However, Mibe discussed the Prelude Concept as the basis for Honda’s sports cars going forward.
From his summarized remarks from Honda: “The word “prelude” means an “introductory or preceding performance.” This model will become the prelude for our future models which will inherit the “joy of driving” into the full-fledged electrified future and embody Honda’s unalterable sports mindset.”
Honda is a latecomer to the EV game
Much like its rival Toyota, Honda is late to the electric vehicle party. Sure, it had the Insight and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid models into the late 2010s. But Honda’s first modern EV won’t land until 2024. The Honda Prologue is a compact crossover sitting on GM’s embattled Ultium EV platform.
Whether a production Prelude will come from in-house at Honda or elsewhere remains to be seen. It wouldn’t be the first time a Japanese automaker resurrected an iconic nameplate and then altered the design to fit another manufacturer’s template. Let’s not forget what the Toyota Supra Concept looked like when it was still just the FT-1.
Honda’s attempt at an EV for car enthusiasts
Regardless of how the Prelude looks when it reaches production, Honda is taking a bold stance. In committing to an all-electric sports car, the Japanese brand is laying a foundation for the future of driving enthusiasm. Whether it carries that torch successfully remains to be seen. I, for one, can’t wait to get behind the wheel to find out.