Honda has unveiled a new electric Prelude concept – bringing back the once popular two-door coupe after 20 years.
The Prelude used to be a popular vehicle in the Japanese automaker’s lineup.
First launched in 1978, the second generation sold over 300,000 units between 1983-1987.
However, sales started to crash in the 1990s, and Honda was only selling about 10,000 units per year by the time it killed the vehicle in 2001.
The Japanese automaker was rumored to bring it back as an EV after it filed for a trademark earlier this year.
At the Japan Mobility Show today, Honda unveiled the new Prelude concept. Here are a few pictures I took of the concept vehicle:
Honda president Toshihiro Mibe was very light on details about the new vehicle:
Honda has always been committed to creating sporty vehicles. And 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 exhilarating experience that makes you want to keep going forever and extraordinary excitement you never felt before.
Honda is among the few automakers that still frustratingly use the term “electrified,” which we have been trying to retire in the industry for a long time.
Automakers have been using it to refer to all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and even hybrid vehicles without a plug.
However, in this case, Honda is calling it “full-fledged electrified,” which should point to the new Prelude being fully electric.
I asked Honda’s staff at the booth, and they wouldn’t go beyond the comments from Mibe.
In addition to “fully-fledged,” Honda seems to be using a naming scheme for its electric vehicles by bringing back the Prelude, as the Prologue is the other all-electric vehicle in its lineup.
The two-door coupe segment is certainly underserved in the EV space. Any addition would be welcomed, and this new concept looks sharp and not too far from a production version.
I am cautiously optimistic about this. It is Honda after all and the company hasn’t exactly been a leader when it comes to all-electric vehicles.
It has been distracted by hydrogen fuel cells and hybrids, but now even the biggest supporters of those have to admit that battery-electric is the way to go.
If Honda can achieve a decent price point with the Prelude EV, it could find itself doing some decent volume like the heydays of the previous vehicle program.
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