Honda Shows Prelude Concept in Japan

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Score one for the gearheads. At this year’s Japan Mobility Show (yes, it – like many other auto shows – has changed its name to include that irritating catch-all word), Honda president Toshihiro Mibe rolled out a two-door coupe called the Prelude. It’s a concept for now, of course, but our hopes are buoyed by one phrase uttered by Mibe during the car’s introduction.

“We are diligently progressing with development,” said Mibe, “So please keep your expectations high for this model.” Will do, sir. After defining the word, Mibe went on to explain how this model will become an, erm, prelude, for future models which will inherit some measure of driving joy. With that in mind, there is every chance in the world this low-slung car is simply being used as hype for some other message coming down the pipe – but we’ll choose to interpret these words in a non-cynical manner (for once).

Car companies craft plenty of concepts that never see the light of a production floor, though the presence of the GR 86 at rival brand Toyota gives us hope this Prelude will eventually appear in showrooms as a foil to the two-door Toyobaru. But if that were to happen, there would likely be a big difference between those two models. While precisely zero details were spilled about what is (or isn’t) under the hood, Mibe touted the Prelude Concept as a window to Honda’s electrification plans. 

Company spox spoke of the brand’s edict of a “full-fledged electrified future”, words which are being interpreted by some outlets as meaning the Prelude Concept is an EV. Fair enough – and, if so, bank on it using Honda’s own electric architecture and not the stuff they’re borrowing for GM to sling under its upcoming Prologue. But, as with most presentations of this type, there’s enough wiggle room in the sentences to leave the door open for this thing to be some sort of hybrid.

In any event, the machine shown in Japan looks remarkably production-ready, free of over-the-top frippery which sometimes adorns concept cars to signify they are simply flights of fancy. Most of us are old enough to remember when Honda and Toyota used to go at it hammer and tongs in this type of sporty segment (Prelude v Celica, et al); it would surely be to the delight of all gearheads if that competition was renewed in the coming years.

[Image: Honda]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
2 of 33 comments
  • JMII JMII on Oct 26, 2023

    So a Honda Nissan Z with hybrid power? As an ex-'89 Prelude Si owner I doubt Honda can recapture that magic.

  • IH_Fever IH_Fever on Oct 26, 2023

    We can still spray paint the hood black and put a body kit on it, but if it's an EV, where does the fart can go?

  • Carson D I hadn't seen a second-generation Courier with a Mazda engine before. I've seen a few with Ford engines. There was one at the Cox Driving Range that they used to collect golf balls. Golf would definitely be more entertaining to watch if they used moving targets.
  • Tassos ooops, Tim, you missed this one. Would make a lovely "Tim's used car of the day". It satisfies all the prerequisites except the wildly overpriced bit.
  • Tassos ASTON AND BOND BY A MILE. While Aston Martin sells a TINY FRACTION of what even the rarified Ferrari and Lambo sell, it is unbelievably well known. Credit the idiotic, but hugely successful and sometimes entertaining James Bond Movies.
  • Tassos 1988? Too young for me. It's all yours, Tim... BAHAHAHAHA!
  • Gray Awesome. Love these. But, if I had the money for a Fox-body, there is a clean '84 GT 350 here for little more than half the price.