The Honda Prelude name is on the way back in the form of a new hybrid coupe previewed last month. The concept's sleek design certainly looks like a car geared toward enthusiasts, but new quotes from Honda large project chief engineer Tomoyuki Yamagami suggest that this will not necessarily translate into track-ready performance.
Speaking to Australia's CarsGuide, Yamagami says that the new Prelude "isn’t going to be the sportiest, zippiest car that’s going to be tossed into the circuits." While that is not particularly good news for enthusiasts, it does not immediately rule out the Prelude as a driver-focused road car.
CEO Toshihiro Mibe has already called the Prelude "a specialty sports model" when initially announcing the car. While that may seem at odds with Yamagami's assessment, the space in between a track-ready performance car like the Civic Type R and a soft volume two-door like the outgoing Accord Coupe is big enough for the Prelude to slot in as something like a front-wheel drive grand tourer. The Prelude can be a little bit softer, with less focus on surviving lap after lap at Suzuka and more on daily comfort in a car still capable of delivering the "joy of driving" mentioned in its initial announcement.
While Yamagami didn't provide a specific timeline, he claims that the car is set to arrive in the "mid-2020s" as a four-seater aimed at both left-hand and right-hand drive markets. Given how close the concept looked to a production car, that could mean an arrival on dealer lots in 2025.
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