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Electrified Honda Prelude to return

Tokyo Motor Show reveal of Honda Prelude, model to arrive by 2030 with electric power

27 Oct 2023

HONDA is set to revive the famed Prelude nameplate, the brand revealing an electrified prototype at this week’s Tokyo motor show and confirming the model will make production, likely before the end of the decade.


While specifications and detail are slim, the Prelude will resurrect a nameplate Honda last sold in 2001, likely arriving with a battery electric or hybridised petrol driveline and a sleek body that is understood to closely resemble that shown.


“Honda has always been committed to creating sporty vehicles,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe at the model’s unveiling.


“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.


“The Prelude concept is a specialty sports model that will offer an exhilarating experience that makes you want to keep going forever and extraordinary excitement you never felt before.


“We are diligently progressing with development – please keep your expectations high for this model.”


Mr Mibe did not provide much in the way of information relating to the Prelude concept, the model’s swept lines, production-like grille and 20-inch wheels all bearing the hallmarks of a production-ready template.


However, a Honda North America spokesperson told US media outlet CarScoops that the model will indeed feature a hybridised driveline, as per a decision made in early 2022.


“I can confirm it’s a hybrid. The announcement we made in April 2022 was that Honda would begin exploring the creation of two sporty electrified models, a specialty, and a flagship,” the spokesperson said.


“Our hybrid-electric system is an electrified powertrain, so the plan has not changed. The Prelude concept is being considered for the Japanese market. We are not going to speculate about our future product plans in North America.”


Assuming the model arrives with hybrid power, it is likely that the Honda Accord-sourced 2.0-litre four-cylinder and electric motor combination will slot into the similarly-sized ‘Prelude’. The front-wheel drive unit provides 158kW at 6200rpm and 314Nm from step-off. It is paired as standard to a continuously variable transmission.


The figures will offer the model considerably more poke that that of the last petrol-powered Prelude sold in Australia.


The fifth-generation Prelude featured a 2.2-litre H22Z1-series ‘four’ making 147kW at 7000rpm and 212Nm at 5250rpm. It was offered with a choice of four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmissions and was capable of accelerating from standstill to 100km/h in 8.2 seconds.


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