What’s in a name?
Honda wowed us all this morning by throwing the wraps off a brand new Prelude Concept, which broke cover at this year’s Japan Mobility Show. The car, which is still just a concept at this stage, is a hot new electric coupe that’s meant to bring the “joy of driving” into the electrified age, according to Honda.
Strapping a historic name badge onto a new electric car does bring with it a lot of scrutiny, just look at how Ford stuck the Mustang name on its first EV. But unlike Ford and its Mustang Mach-E, the electric Prelude does at least appear to be sticking to its roots. But just how closely does the new concept follow that lineage?
Unlike the mustang Mach-E, the new Prelude is not an SUV, it’s not even a crossover. Instead, it’s got the same sleek coupe stylings of the Prelude of old, which is good.
The Prelude we all know and love died out with the fifth generation, which was on sale from 1997 until 2001. Under its expansive hood, the MK5 Prelude didn’t have an electric motor and was instead powered by a 200hp gas engine here in the U.S.
Third Time’s The Charm
The MK3 Prelude went on sale in 1987 in Japan, before reaching America’s shores a year later. The MK3 had one important detail that the final Prelude and the concept both lack: hidden headlamps.
Back Where It All Began
We might be celebrating the Prelude Concept here in 2023, but that car’s origins actually run all the way back to 1978 when the first Prelude went on sale. Unveiled 45 years ago, the MK1 went on to sell more than 300,000 units around the world.
If you reverse image search the face on the new Prelude Concept, Google thinks it’s a Prius. What do you think, is this front end Prius-like?
They might share a name, but the Prelude Concept and the MK5 have wildly different ideas when it comes to headlamps. Where the ’90s car’s are big and bold, the new one has lights that almost melt away into obscurity.
The front of the MK3 Prelude looks slick. It’s full of ’80s charm and even bears a striking resemblance to the Acrua NSX, which would break cover just a few years later.
Nothing screams ’70s like a car with a big boxy front end. Thankfully, Honda paired the Prelude’s boxy front with a boxy font.
Smooth And Sleek
In another case of mistaken identity for the new car, Google thinks this is the rear end of a Porsche Taycan. This time I’m really struggling with the resemblance here.
Bold And Boxy
Now for something completely different. Back in the ’90s, angles were in and the last-generation Prelude had a boxy back end to reflect that. Sure, it looks a bit like the car ends in the same way a cliff does, but it’s cool.
Angular In The Eighties
But the 90s had nothing on the ’80s when it came to angular car design, as was proven by cars like the Golf GTI of the ’80s, Honda’s own CRX and even cars like the Ferrari Testarossa.
Square In The Seventies
The 70s were a simpler time, car’s weren’t angular because of some newfangled design trend, they were angular because that’s the only shape the tail lights came in, probably. Still, it looks good.
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