Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Honda Prelude to return to Europe from 2025 as hybrid sports car

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Honda has officially confirmed that the Prelude – first previewed by a concept car at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show – will return to Europe as a hybrid sports car.

It’s the first time the Prelude name has been used on a real car since the fourth-generation Honda coupe ended production at the end of 2001.

The brand has pointed to models like the Insight and the CR-Z to give us hints about the Prelude’s driving dynamics, even announcing its confirmation on the same day Honda celebrates 25 years of hybrid Hondas.

‘In a time where everybody’s talking about electrification and low carbon, we wanted to express Honda’s DNA and provide a real joy of driving. What car can better express that than a sporty coupe?’, Tomoyuki Yamagami, the Prelude’s large project lead, tells CAR.

The new Prelude will have a clean look previewed by this concept version, and is relatively small when you’re stood next to it. Honda’s design team have focused on keeping the car low to the ground and as aerodynamic as possible. ‘It’s designed to be low and wide,’ says Yamagami, ‘and we’ve been inspired by gliders, and we’ve made sure not to include many gimmicks in the design.’

While we can’t see its interior yet, Honda promises a low driving position, with Yamagami confirming to us that the new Prelude will be a four-seater. Sporty details like brakes from Brembo will be included, and the ‘Prelude’ badge on the back is in a classic Honda script.

The Prelude has always had a history of utilising existing Honda architectures and technologies under the skin. We expect the new-generation Prelude to deploy the Civic’s hybrid powertrain when it launches.

‘The new Prelude unifies all of the DNA you’d expect from Honda,’ adds Yamagami. ‘We’ve carefully selected the technology to be utilised here, and we’re imagining a potential customer that uses the car not just for track days, but every day.’

While unconfirmed, we expect the production version of the new-generation Prelude to launch towards the end of 2025 onwards.

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