The Updated Honda Prelude Doesn’t Aim to be a Hardcore Sports Car—and that’s Acceptable

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By Car Brand Experts

At the recent Japan Mobility Show, the debut of the Honda Prelude Concept turned heads. While it exuded the expected elegance and allure of a new Prelude, several key specifics—such as details on the coupe’s hybrid powertrain and target markets—still remain undisclosed. Although concrete figures are premature, insights from Honda’s Chief Engineer Tomoyuki Yamagami have given us a clear glimpse into what to anticipate when the Prelude makes its return in the upcoming years. In essence, do not anticipate a racer.

“It won’t be the most sporty, high-powered vehicle to hit the tracks, that’s one thing,” Yamagami mentioned in an interview with the Australian publication CarsGuide. “This will serve as a preview to all of Honda’s upcoming electric vehicle launches.”

For those hoping for a direct competitor to models like the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ duo, Mazda Miata, or Volkswagen GTI, this revelation may come as a letdown. Yet, the original Prelude never aimed to match those rivals. There is certainly a niche for a stylish, technologically advanced, enjoyable-to-drive, and luxurious “personal” coupe that offers daily excitement, even if it’s not tailored for track racing. Think of it as akin to the CR-Z, but with slightly more power. That’s the improvement the hybrid hatch really needed, after all.

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Maddox Kay/The Drive

Yamagami also labeled the Prelude as a “global model,” indicating plans for both left-hand and right-hand-drive variants. This news should alleviate any worries that the automaker is solely focusing on markets outside of North America for this compact coupe.

On paper, the upcoming Prelude reminisces the 1990s era in a positive manner: a comfortable, if not aggressively sporty, two-door with appealing looks and hopefully a reasonable price tag. If this is a sneak peek of the electrified vehicles Honda is envisioning for the future, then the company is drawing inspiration from the right sources. Just please ensure it possesses sufficient power this time, Honda. The 204-horsepower two-liter four-cylinder engine combined with dual motors from the Accord Hybrid would suffice.

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