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The next Honda Prelude will be electrifying

Honda surprises Tokyo Mobility Show attendees with an electric Prelude concept

Honda Prelude concept
  • Prelude concept looks near-production ready
  • EV could revive the car last sold in 2001
  • Would face little competition as first affordable EV coupe

Honda has surprised visitors at the Tokyo Mobility Show with an all-new concept car that previews the next Honda Prelude. The sleek two-door coupe looks set to revive the model and offer the “joy of driving”. One big change though; instead of a VTEC petrol engine, it will be fully electric.

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There’s a reason Honda may have been keen to keep the Prelude concept under such tight secrecy until now; it’s a car that would have no real rivals if it were to launch in the next few years. While an electric Porsche Cayman is on its way, that car will likely be far more expensive and appeal to a slightly different customer, too.

The best sports cars 2023Top 10 best sports cars 2024

While there are rumours of a return for the Ford Capri, this is expected to take the shape of a coupe-crossover, and it’s the same story for the replacement for the Audi TT – the two-door coupe is a seriously dwindling part of the market.

Nothing is yet known about the technical layout of the Prelude, but Honda President Toshihiro Mibe, has said: “The Prelude Concept is a specialty sports model that will offer an exhilarating experience that makes you want to keep going forever and extraordinary excitement you never felt before.” 

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While the Prelude has traditionally been a front-wheel drive petrol car, it’s likely a switch to electric propulsion could see it become rear- or even four-wheel drive. Its slippery shape should also help it achieve a reasonable driving range.

Mibe added: “Honda has always been committed to creating sporty vehicles. And the word ‘prelude’ means an ‘introductory or preceding performance.’ This model will become the prelude for our future models which will inherit the ‘joy of driving’ into the full-fledged electrified future and embody Honda’s unalterable sports mindset.” 

If it does arrive – and the concept certainly looks remarkably close to a production vehicle – it will be the first Prelude since 2001, and the sixth-generation of the long-running model.

Honda Prelude concept design

The Prelude concept boasts a sleek design rarely seen in recent years, as customers opt for SUVs like Honda’s own e:Ny1 en masse. With a long and low bonnet and spear-tipped front end design, the Prelude’s closed grille sits above a jutting black chin spoiler and lower intakes, while a single band of LED lights arcs beneath a Honda badge and connects the front lights. 

Its side view is made more dramatic by tear-drop-shaped side windows, deep side skirts and low-drag mirrors mounted on each door. Meanwhile, its white paintwork (Japan’s traditional racing colour) contrasts with black multi-spoke alloy wheels that look straight off a racing GT prototype.

Read our in-depth review of Honda’s current EVs, the Honda e and e:Ny1, or take a look at our round-up of the best electric cars currently available

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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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