Could the Honda Prelude Come to the U.S. as a Sporty Hybrid?

honda prelude concept
Honda's Prelude Concept Seems Production-ReadyHonda

UPDATE 10/25/23: A Honda spokesperson confirmed on social media that the Prelude concept uses a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain and not a battery-electric one. This story has been updated to reflect this.

Honda officially calls the reborn Prelude it showed off at this year's Tokyo show a concept car. Unofficially, we think it's better to deem this a near-production prototype.


We're not Nostradamus, but we are pretty good at spotting the difference between a definitive concept car that serves as a design study or as a meter for public reaction, and a production car that's been given the "concept" car treatment. This Prelude concept strikes us as the latter.

honda prelude concept

Why? Look at the body itself. There are cutlines for the front and rear bumper covers, cutlines for the side skirts, rear reflectors, rearview mirrors, and windshield wipers. To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, "we know a production car when we see it."

What we don't know, however, is just about anything about the mechanical bits that make up the surely greenlit production Prelude. We can make some educated guesses, though.

For instance, it's likely the Prelude concept was designed around the modular platform that underpins vehicles such as the Civic and Accord. In this sense, we predict the Prelude will effectively replace the now-discontinued Civic coupe (and, in a way, the Accord coupe) in Honda's model line.

Honda shared that the Prelude concept is a hybrid, but is mum on the powertrain's specifics. It's possible the automaker cribs the hybrid setup from the CR-V or Accord (or presumably the upcoming Civic Hybrid) for use in the Prelude.

However, there's also a chance Honda develops a starter-generator "mild-hybrid" system that complements the gas engine of the inevitable production Prelude. Going this route means the company could employ a multi-speed transmission in the Prelude.

honda prelude concept

Mind you, all of this is merely conjecture on our end, and we're not at all claiming certainty. Still, we'd bet decent money the Prelude concept morphs into a production Prelude. We just hope Honda finds a way to offer some variant of the car with a good old-fashioned manual transmission.

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