The New Honda Prelude Won't Be a Serious Sports Car—and That's OK

The New Honda Prelude Won't Be a Serious Sports Car—and That's OK photo
The New Honda Prelude Won't Be a Serious Sports Car—and That's OK photo

The Honda Prelude Concept was one of the standouts surprises of last month's Japan Mobility Show. And while it certainly looked as svelte and charming as you'd hope a new Prelude would, key details—from the precise nature of the coupe's hybrid drivetrain, to where Honda even intends to sell it—still remain mysteries. It's too soon to talk hard numbers of course, but fresh comments from Honda Chief Engineer Tomoyuki Yamagami have provided us with a solid idea of what to look forward to when the Prelude is ultimately resurrected later this decade. In short, don't expect a track toy.

"This isn’t going to be the sportiest, zippiest car that’s going to be tossed into the circuits, so that’s one thing," Yamagami told Australian outlet CarsGuide. "This is going to be the prelude for all of the electric vehicles that Honda is going to be launching."

That might be something of a disappointment to anyone expecting a bonafide challenger to the likes of the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ duo, Mazda Miata, or Volkswagen GTI. But then, that's never really what the original Prelude was about. There's certainly space for a stylish, tech-forward, fun-to-drive, and comfortable "personal" coupe that's thrilling enough on a day-to-day basis, even if it's not the perfect base for a hot-lapping weapon. Like the CR-Z, but with a smidge more power. That's really all that hybrid hatch truly needed, anyway.

Yamagami also described the Prelude as a "global model," with both left- as well as right-hand-drive versions in the works. Good news that should quell any concern that the automaker is squarely targeting the compact coupe for markets outside North America.

On paper, the upcoming Prelude is thoroughly a 1990s throwback in the best possible way: a warm, if not piping-hot, two-door with attractive but hardly aggressive styling, and hopefully an affordable price tag to match. If this is genuinely a precursor for the sort of electrified vehicles Honda's dreaming up for the future, then the automaker's pulling its inspiration from the right places. Just please give it enough power this time, Honda. The 204-horsepower two-liter four-cylinder and dual-motor combo of the Accord Hybrid would make for plenty.