Honda Prelude two-door coupe set to return as an electric sportscar

Rock up to any self-respecting street car meet in the late 90s or early 2000s and you’d always find a smattering of Honda Preludes.

Square of shape, revvy of engine and at its best with some Maccas trays under its rear wheels, this front-drive coupe legend rightly held icon status on Australian city streets.

Then, by 2001, it was gone. Surplus to Honda’s sporting requirements with the Integra Type R and S2000 covering the fun part of its showroom lineup.

Now, thanks to electrification, the Prelude looks like coming back after a too-long hiatus of over two decades.

Tokyo Show Prelude Reveal

Honda revealed an electric Prelude Concept at the Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo today, and far from looking like a fantasy land nonsense (see Nissan’s latest concept efforts), the electric ‘Lude looks darn near production ready.

Honda’s CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, said at the Tokyo show’s unveling: “We know our customers are expecting one more thing from Honda, and that is sports models.”

Quite right, mate. The company that gave us the (original) NSX, the S2000, Integra Type R and history’s finest F1 engines needs more sporting flavour in its showroom than a too-expensive Civic Type R.

Honda Prelude Concept electric coupe at the Tokyo Motor Show 2023
Honda Prelude Concept electric coupe at the Tokyo Motor Show 2023

“The Prelude Concept is a specialty sports model that will offer exhilarating experience that makes you want to keep going forever and extraordinary excitement you never felt before,” Mibe-San continued.

No word on when a Prelude EV may roll off the production line, but we’re promised Honda is “diligently progressing with development, so please keep your expectations high for this model.”

Will do.

Classic coupe shape

Annoyingly, Honda has revealed nothing about the Prelude Concept’s powertrain, performance or potential specification. Nor a peek inside the cabin.

While those combustion hero Preludes of old were all front-drive, Honda has the opportunity to make this electric Prelude a rear-drive for a more purist sporting experience. If Polestar can do it with the 2, Honda can do it with the ‘leccy ‘Lude.

What we learn from the pictures are it sports elements of Honda’s current design language spotted on its SUVs, with a light bar running between sleek and skinny headlights and daytime running lights.

There’s another LED light bar at rear running the width of its bum, it features fancy pop-out door handles and an abundance of glossy black for the lower bumpers, alloys, door mirrors and roof.

Honda’s in dire need of sexying up its passenger car range while delivering us some desirable electric cars.

An electric Prelude would be a fascinating halo coupe to challenge the likes of Porsche’s 718 Boxster/Cayman EV, Tesla’s Roadster if it ever arrives, and even the MG Cyberster.

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