There’s a new Honda Prelude in town, and while it is still officially only a concept at the moment, it does look remarkably like a production car. That can only be a good thing…

With the last generation having been phased out in 2001, the Honda Prelude has long been an affordable used car market hero. But now, out of the blue, it appears as though the Prelude lineage might be getting a revival. Honda has revealed several cool and quirky concepts at this year’s Japan Mobility Show including the compact Sustaina-C Concept (pictured below). But the Prelude stands out amongst them all for its comparative restraint in design. Don’t get me wrong, it looks fantastic, but unlike the other concepts on Honda’s stand, the Prelude looks like it could start rolling off production lines tomorrow. Unfortunately, we haven’t quite got full confirmation that the new Honda Prelude will make it to the market yet, but the signs are overwhelmingly positive. Here’s what we know…

Honda Sustaina-C concept 2023

Honda displayed several cool urban concepts at the Japan Mobility Show, such as the Sustaina-C, which takes inspiration from the Honda City.

New Honda Prelude – Concept or Reality?

As things stand, we’re cautiously optimistic about the chances of there genuinely being a new Honda Prelude on the horizon. But that optimism stems from not only the grounded styling cues of the concept car, but also from the words of Honda President & CEO, Toshihiro Mibe.

“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.” Mibe-san said.

There’s a couple of ways you can look at this. The more cynical viewpoint would be that the Prelude concept will remain exactly that – a sporty concept, designed to develop EV tech to give other future Honda EVs more of a sporty feel. Alternatively, you could take a more optimistic stance and note that Mibe-san refers to the Prelude as a “model” not a concept. That, to me, feels telling. What’s even more telling is what he goes on to say next:

“The Prelude Concept is a specialty sports model that will offer exhilarating experience that makes you want to keep going forever and extraordinary excitement you never felt before.

“In order to offer the ‘joy of driving’ only Honda can realize, we are diligently progressing with development, so please keep your expectations high for this model.”

If that’s not a ‘watch this space’ statement, I don’t know what is. Telling us to “keep our expectations high” is as close to confirmation of a production Prelude as you can get without being so direct. This certainly shouldn’t be viewed as model launch, but between the President’s speech and the design of the concept, it doesn’t take much to decipher the fact that this project must be fairly far down the line. Besides, it’s not as if Honda are afraid of rebooting beloved models of old – the Integra is now alive and well, after all.

Honda Prelude concept at Japan Mobility Show

Honda Prelude Concept specs

Anyway, that’s enough flirting with the idea for now. Let’s instead re-focus on the facts that we know for certain. The main one is that this Prelude Concept is an EV – and we don’t mean hybrid, this is fully electric.

For now, there aren’t any confirmed technical specifications, but don’t expect anything too radical in terms of numbers. The old Preludes were never rapid, so don’t expect this to blow your mind either. And honestly, that’s no bad thing. Mega EV horsepower also comes with plenty of added weight, and frankly you don’t need to be doing 0-60mph in 0.2 femtoseconds to be having fun anyway. A sporty EV coupe with a more sensible dose of power would not only mean better range, but more real-world performance usability, and probably a lower kerb weight. More of that, please!

Besides that, there really isn’t much else to go on, other than the fact that the front fascia is loosely reminiscent of the current Honda e:Ny1. Again, family resemblance to legit production models can only be a positive sign. For now though, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed.