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Japan has its motor mojo back. While we have been awash with Camrys and Altimas, we were never expecting a return of the Honda Prelude. The automaker revealed its “Prelude concept” this week at the Japan Mobility Show, formerly the Tokyo Auto Show. It is a hybrid concept, but it is too close to a production vehicle to be a concept, so we’ll take it at face value. This is the next Prelude from Honda.

Naturally, it deviates from how it will look once in production, but not by much—just the proportions alone signal production origins. Otherwise, we would see a longer wheelbase with less front overhang and a longer hood. But as a successor to the Prelude of old, it is a great-looking production coupe.

What kind of power will the Honda Prelude have?

Honda Prelude concept front view
Honda Prelude concept at 2023 Japan Mobility Show | Honda

That’s the other thing that is surprising about several of the Japanese manufacturers’ concepts this year: they’re coupes. Actually, they’re more sports car-like. That’s why we’re saying they got their mojo back. Besides this concept, Honda also debuted its Acura NSX successor, an EV.

We can extrapolate the Prelude’s details from what we can see because Honda is being coy about much of the car. Again, the proportions tell us this will come with either an electric motor or a hybrid. Otherwise, it wouldn’t need all of that front overhang. Honda has been advancing front-wheel drive layouts forever, and with the abrupt decline in EV sales, Honda will hedge its bets by possibly offering both versions. 

What platform will the Honda Prelude have?

White Honda Prelude concept front at 2023 Japan Mobility Show
Honda Prelude concept at 2023 Japan Mobility Show | Honda

“The word ‘prelude’ means an ‘introductory or preceding performance,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe at Honda’s press conference. “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.” 

It is logical to see it using the Accord or Civic platforms. And we know the Accord hybrid features 204 hp. Expect the Prelude to increase that number. 

When was the last time Honda made a two-door?

White Honda Prelude concept with taillights on
Honda Prelude concept at 2023 Japan Mobility Show | Honda

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Honda hasn’t had a two-door model since the 2017 Accord. And the Prelude hasn’t been around for over two decades. So, while some young drivers never saw a new Prelude, it still has a great reputation as the sporty Honda, notwithstanding the S2000, which was gone by 2009. 

Honda doesn’t do wild “what-if” concepts. Once we get a “concept,” it is usually just a thinly veiled one. As you can imagine, everyone is hoping this concept Prelude is coming to a local Honda dealer sooner rather than later. And from the looks of it, the timing may be sooner.