By on June 28, 2021

Despite issuing some of the most realistic messaging pertaining to electric vehicles you’re likely to encounter within the automotive industry, Honda has started to come around to making bold commitments that it’ll probably have to revise. In April, the company stated that it wanted EVs and fuel-cell vehicles to make up 40 percent of all new-vehicle sales by 2030 — with the figure climbing to 100 percent by 2040.

Right now, its alternative energy products include the Honda Clarity and marvelously executed Honda E (neither of which are likely to be available in your area). But more vehicles are coming and the brand recently announced the starting point for the business’ battery-electric offensive targeting North America. The whole shebang is supposed to kick off in 2024 when the all-electric “Prologue” goes on sale. 

Honda announced the vehicle on Monday, stating that it would be the first in a series of EVs aimed at our market. But your author cannot stop but think of the obvious connections Honda is making to the Prelude (below), though the company never mentioned it directly and was probably wise not to sully by attaching the name to what’s likely to be another vanilla crossover.

Remember how Mitsubishi attempted to leverage the Eclipse name to help draw attention to the Eclipse Cross? Presumably, so does Honda and we expect it doesn’t want to invite the same kind of comparisons that might enrage automotive journalists who have a tendency to fetishize old models.

The Prologue will be the first of two vehicles that Honda is co-developing with General Motors and will borrow the American firm’s Ultium battery pack. Vehicle number two will be an Acura model that’s yet to be named and is likely to use the same architecture.

From Honda:

In addition to the Honda Prologue, the company will introduce an all-electric Acura SUV in the 2024 calendar year. Both will utilize the highly flexible global EV platform powered by Ultium batteries based on the company’s strategic partnership with General Motors. Honda also plans to launch a new series of EV models in the second half of the decade based on a new e:Architecture, with development led by Honda.

“Our first volume Honda BEV will begin our transition to electrification and the name Honda Prologue signals the role it will play in leading to our zero-emission future,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of American Honda. “The Prologue will provide our customers with a battery-electric SUV with the excellent functionality and packaging they’ve come to expect from Honda.”

This is a pretty slick way of Honda diving into EVs in North America, without having to commit itself to global battery platforms. But that’s really only going to be praiseworthy if the Japanese automaker’s earlier reservations about EV adoption turn out to be correct. Its Clarity models are presently fielding just about all of its alternative-energy aspirations, with the adorable Honda E (below) taking care of a limited number of urban EV fans since its 2020 introduction. However, the battery-driven Clarity EV was pulled from the market that same year, mildly undermining its commitment to electrification.

[Images: Honda]

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24 Comments on “Prelude to the Prologue: Honda Names Next EV...”


  • avatar
    mmreeses

    is there anyone under 40 who even remembers the Prelude? (besides car nerds).

    maybe not even 1% of the general population

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      The honda fanbois of all ages still remember it in my experience.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I know the name, but honestly don’t remember why it was supposed to be special. It always looked like a slightly fancier, more powerful(?) Accord Coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Anyone who is a fan of cars in general would know about the Prelude.
      You might never see one if you live in the Rust Belt, though. And the ones still left on the road have several hundred thousand miles by now, because they are driven and eventually worn out, not left parked.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbolude

      I love my 4th gen prelude. And no I don’t think people remember them.i think it’s because you don’t really see then anymore at least in the Seattle area I don’t

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Remember how Mitsubishi attempted to leverage the Eclipse name to help draw attention to the Eclipse Cross? Presumably, so does Honda…”

    No – Honda has never built a “Prologue” before, and is no longer using the “Prelude” name.

    Why does this article contain any reference – and a photo – to the Prelude (a sedan by a different name), when the story is about the upcoming Prologue (an SUV)?

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    anyone in the age demographic that remembers what a Prelude car (or qualude drug for that matter) is not likely going to purchase an electric car

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I certainly remember the Prelude, and I’m on my second EV.

      But the *Prologue* has nothing to do with the Prelude, so I don’t know why it was even part of the article.

  • avatar
    NigelShiftright

    In other EV news, California is urging people not to charge their EV’s tonight.

    Just wait ’till they turn off the nuclear plant that provides ten percent of the state’s kwh.

  • avatar
    ScarecrowRepair

    A bit off-topic — has TTAC ever considered expanding to international coverage? I’d guess Japan and Europe would be the obvious first choices, China second, but I’ve always been curious about all other countries. Sometimes a special Peugot or Citroen will show up, or some oddball Brit 3 wheeler, or Italian hypercar of which only two were made.

    They all only whet my appetite for all the more ordinary cars they pump out by the millions.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      second, especially China. As much like with Hollywood big budget films, it is the Chinese market that is influencing the decisions made in Detroit or Munich/Stuttgart.

      Like it or not, whether for good or meh.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      At one point there were international writers whose articles were geared toward vehicles not offered in the USA/Canada.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    I had a prelude. It was a fun fwd sports coupe and being lower and lighter than an accord coupe made it alot more fun. Sadly it like all the fwd sports coupes from the 80s and 90s died in the early 2000s when young drivers like me moved to hot hatches and midsize sedans eith 250hp+ v6 engines like the 02 altima.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I had an Odyssey. It has as much to do with the upcoming Prologue as the Prelude. Its ownership experience was an odyssey I’d like to forget.

      Next, maybe Posky will give us a Civics lesson on Prologue EV ownership, or include a spy photo of the Prologue during its Pilot build.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    GM providing drivetrains to Honda feels like the inverse of the Saturn Vue Red Line.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I hope GM quality improves on these EVs. I was a loyal GM owner for 46 years and still have 1 GM in my fleet but their quality in the last few years has taken a nosedive. As for Hondas I basically like them and have had a positive experience with the 77 Accord hatch my wife had and the 2013 CRV we currently own. I wouldn’t say I was a fanboy but Honda, Toyota,and Mazda seem to be the few manufacturers that are making reliable vehicles.

  • avatar

    Prelude was a prelude to something that did not happen. Where is Prologue there is Epilogue also.- Honda will eventually go bankrupt by making EVs. They should call it Epilogue or even better “Epitaph”.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    That is why Honda is not making their own EVs. Hopefully the GM made EV is good and my concerns about recent GM quality are diminished. GM can make quality cars and trucks when they want to.

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