New Honda Prelude Arrives in U.K. Next Year

Honda U.K.

Honda’s reborn Prelude sports car will be available in the U.K. as early as next year, the automaker confirmed. The coupe will make its first public appearance at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed, which takes place this weekend.

There’s no word yet on whether the car will eventually be offered in the U.S., but that the Prelude has returned at all feels like cause for celebration.

A concept version of the Prelude debuted last year at the Japan Mobility Show, and that car looked remarkably ready for production. Based on the photos Honda just shared, not much was changed, which is a good thing. The low, slinky proportions carry whiffs of the Acura NSX at the rear, while the front has a little bit of Toyota Prius to it. That full-width running light bar and cursive font for the nameplate feel eerily similar to the Porsche 911 or the Taycan, but those premium offerings are not bad examples to emulate.

Honda Prelude and Acura NSX exteriors front three quarter
Honda U.K.

While there are still no powertrain specifics, we do know that the Prelude will be a hybrid. It will likely use some version of the hybrid system that you’d find in the CR-V, Accord, and Civic Hybrid models, which pair a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with a pair of electric motors—one for generating electricity and another for providing propulsion.

As for how the car will feel to drive, Honda says that the Prelude will “deliver the perfect balance of exhilarating driving pleasure and outstanding efficiency.” Reading between the lines there, it sounds like all-out pace isn’t the guiding star for this model. In fact, Honda’s large project chief engineer Tomoyuki Yamagami told Australian CarsGuide as much last November: The new Prelude “isn’t going to be the sportiest, zippiest car that’s going to be tossed into the circuits.”

While some folks may lament that, we’d offer up another Japanese darling, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, as a counterpoint. That car spurns the stopwatch in favor of making everyday commutes feel a little extra special, and that’s the entire reason we adore the thing. If the Prelude succeeds in making normal drives a bit more exciting—while maximizing every drop of fuel along the way—who’s gonna poo-poo that idea?

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Comments

    It it was ICE only I might be interested depending on the price. Honda Hybrids outside of the NSX have been quite boring.

    ZZZZZZZZZ! Just another car that leaves you wanting more power. Just what we need.

    But it will be FWD so no loss then.

    The Toyota and Subaru with RWD could have been right but the bulbus styling and lock of power killed them. Also trying to sell a coupe in the present market is tougher than even a Sedan.

    Much of the performance aftermarket is now Trucks and Jeep generating the revenue. It used to be 5.0 Mustangs and Camaros but no more.

    Love the idea, but have to wonder how it’ll go over in the US market. The efficient touring coupe market segment can’t be huge… Maybe they’re aiming it at well-heeled, childless millennials or their just-into-retirement boomer parents.

    I think there’s a reason that only 1 of the 15 pictures shows the true proportions of the car, and the incredibly homely stubby rear end of the car. I’ve owned 5 Preludes and loved each and every one, but that one was “bulboused” into submission. No thank you.

    I really want to be excited by this. A 1989 Prelude Si is my “car that got away” as my first car in the early 2000s (I wound up with a Mk 2 Jetta”. I remember the VTEC kick of a fifth gen I briefly drove back when I worked in a parking lot in my early 20s, which I felt did a nice job of keeping the virtues of the third gen (minus the regrettable loss of pop-up headlights). I still casually keep an eye out for nice ones for sale.

    Yet the pictures of this new one leave me indifferent. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong if/when the production model materializes, but so far I’m not terribly excited. In defence of the full-width light bar, it could be argued that it’s a throwback to the third gen, although that one didn’t fully light up. Similarly, I find that the little grille at the front vaguely hearkens back to the second and fifth gens.

    Thankfully for Honda I’m unlikely to be the target market. Even if I had the budget, I’d also skip over the current NSX and go hunting for the cleanest first gen I could find, too.

    The styling is just way off for me. The front end is way too stubby and the fenders are way too tall. I don’t find the look graceful at all. It might be okay from the cowl back, although I think the rear end could use a little more overhang. I want to like it. I really do, but I’m sure Honda will put it out, buyers will be lukewarm on the styling, then Honda will just decry “no one wants 2-doors,” when in reality, we just don’t want 2-doors with lazy, halfhearted styling.

    I don’t care for the stance of it considering it is supposedly a “sports car”. Change the rims (larger) / wheel openings and lower it a bit (or at least give the perception of same) and you could have an entirely different look. I had a Prelude way back (1992) and loved it; performance and build quality was excellent for that time and it felt like a personal luxury car to drive.

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