Prelude to the Prologue: Honda Names Next EV

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 28, 2021

    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".

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 29, 2021

    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.

  • Dave M. The Outback alternates between decent design and goofy design every generation. 2005 was attractive, 2010 goofy. 2015 decent. 2020 good, but the ‘23 refresh hideous.Looking forward to the Outback hybrid in ‘26…..
  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
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