UPDATE 10/25 @ 3:53 PM ET: An earlier version of the story claimed the new Honda Prelude Concept was electric, but American Honda Senior Manager of Public Relations Andrew Quillin stated on social media and subsequently confirmed directly to us that the sports coupe is a hybrid. Unfortunately, Honda isn't releasing any details of the hybrid powertrain at this time.
Are you sitting down, folks? Honda just dropped a bombshell at the Japan Mobility Show, and it's called Prelude. Feast your eyes on the Honda Prelude Concept, and whoa, Nellie does it look ready for production.
What are the details of this car? We'll be right up front in saying, for now at least, things are thin. Very thin. The Prelude reveal came at the very end of Honda's presentation of concepts for the show, and the discussion didn't include any details regarding the powertrain. Actually, the discussion didn't include details period, save for a hat tip that it's designed to blend electrification and driving pleasure for future Honda fun. Take that as you will.
Gallery: Honda Prelude Concept
While Honda leaves us hanging on information regarding the Prelude Concept, our eyes see a vehicle that doesn't really look like a concept. The face isn't too far removed from a Civic, save for the lack of an upper grille. Body lines are symmetrical but not blocky, and Brembo brakes are visible behind factory-styled 20-inch wheels. There are proper side mirrors in place of cameras, and a thin yet prominent spoiler adorns the fastback. The only aspects that scream concept are the completely black windows, suggesting there isn't much to see inside.
So, the million-dollar question now is, will Honda actually build it? Again, the company is being very coy with details right now, but Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe shared some interesting remarks following the Prelude's unveiling. Highlighting the company's commitment to future sports models mentioned in 2022, he said this concept "will become the prelude for our future model which will inherit the 'joy of driving' into the full-fledged electrified future and embody Honda's unalterable sports mindset." Note that prelude here is lower-case, serving not as the name of this car but as a foundation for future Honda performance vehicles.
Frankly, Honda could do worse than revive a storied performance nameplate from its past. Launching in 1978, the first-generation Prelude brought sporty front-wheel-drive performance to the world. It was the first Honda to feature a moonroof, and when it finally exited the scene in 2001, the Prelude offered a maximum output of 217 horsepower in Japan and 200 hp in the US.
It would be odd for the next-generation Prelude will take a step back in terms of output, so hopefully Honda fits it with a more powerful hybrid setup than the current Accord's 204-hp powertrain. Furthermore, the automaker hasn't built a manual-transmission hybrid since the CR-Z that ended production in 2016, but maybe this sporty coupe is an ideal testbed for the return of a DIY gearbox in an electrified car. Make it happen, Honda.
Check out Motor1.com's Rambling About Cars podcast for more about the Prelude Concept and other debuts from the Japan Mobility Show, available below on YouTube.