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The Honda Prelude returns! Iconic coupe reboots as EV sportscar 


Well, they kept this quiet! Two-door coupe nameplate hasn’t been used since the much-loved Prelude ceased production in 2001

Honda has revealed an electric Prelude Concept at the Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo, signalling an intention to re-birth the sporting two-door coupe.

A surprise star of the Tokyo show, the electric Concept looks production ready and with similar dimensions to a combustion Nissan Z coupe.

Update: Honda America senior manager of public relations Andrew Quillin has stated on social media that the Prelude is hybrid in nature and not a full EV, perhaps using a similar petrol-electric system as the Civic e:HEV.

“To clarify … Prelude Concept is hybrid-electric, not full BEV,” he said on Thursday.

Say hello to the new electric Honda Prelude concept!

Next to nothing has been revealed about the new Prelude, but Honda boss Toshihiro Mibe said at its reveal it would offer the “joy of driving” and to “please keep your expectations high for this model.”

Mibe-San acknowledged “our customers are expecting one more thing from Honda, and that is sports models.”

At present, the brand is very much an SUV company, with only the Civic Type-R waving the sporting flag in its line-up. 

With such a proud racing pedigree in Formula One and sports car icons such as the NSX, Integra Type R, S2000 and Prelude in its back catalogue, the stage is set for sportier numbers in Honda’s electric future.

Honda could bring in the Prelude electric concept to join cars like the Civic Type R

What do we know about the electric Honda Prelude?

No details beyond what we’ve seen in Tokyo and the media images here.

An LED light bar sits between boomerang-type headlights, there are pop-out door handles, black alloys hiding blue brake callipers, a sporty black boot spoiler and mighty rear LED light bar.

We can expect an abundance of sporty EVs in future, as car makers battle to convince sportscar driving enthusiasts that fun can be translatable to electric when combustion cars are no longer produced.

We think the Prelude concept is a good looking thing

The Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman EV is expected in 2025, Tesla’s Roadster should eventually make a return, and the MG Cyberster electric sportscar with scissor doors is set to arrive next year.

Just when an electric Honda Prelude would join the party is yet to be known, but looking near production-ready at Tokyo suggests it may not be far away at all.

Prelude’s proud history

If you indulged in the tuning and modifying scene of the 1990s and early 2000s, the Honda Prelude was a street fighting legend.

Honda Prelude VTEC 1994
The 1994 Honda Prelude VTEC

It may have been derived from the Honda Accord, but the two-door ‘Lude gained cult status from its first generation of 1978 up until the fifth generation’s reign from 1996 until 2001. 

In Australia, peak Prelude were the VTi-R and ATTS versions of the late Nineties, with wildly revvy 2.2-litre inline four-cylinders offering 147kW and 212Nm. 

They were impressively appointed inside, and boy could they handle well for the time.

Having the Integra and S2000 in its line-up meant Honda saw the Prelude as surplus to requirements, killing it off over two decades ago.

Chasing more Honda?