In the realm of driver-oriented Hondas, enthusiasts are quick to mention the revered names – the DC2 or DC5 Integra, the EG6 Civic SiR, the UKDM Accord Type R, as well as the S2000 and NSX. However, there is one notable coupe that often gets overlooked in discussions of iconic Hondas: the Prelude.
Recent developments suggest that this might change, as Honda's trademark filing on August 15 has ignited speculation about a potential revival of this once-innovative model. While Honda had previously filed a trademark application a couple of years back for the Prelude name to be used in merchandise, the current filing takes a more protective stance, barring competitors from using the badge for an actual vehicle. This could imply, albeit cautiously, that Honda might be contemplating the revival of the Prelude with an entirely new iteration.
Introduced in 1978, the Prelude spanned five generations. Its second generation introduced an aerodynamic design, featuring a lower front clip and distinctive popup headlights. In 1987, the Prelude made waves with the adoption of four-wheel steering, a technology that has taken years to become mainstream, especially in higher-end automobiles. Unfortunately, the Prelude bid adieu to the U.S. market in 2001.
It's important to approach this news with tempered expectations. There is a possibility that the Japanese automaker might consider placing the Prelude name on a crossover or SUV, aligning with the current market trends.
However, intriguing rumors abound. Honda might have something special in store for its 75th anniversary, given its history of unveiling noteworthy vehicles on milestone occasions. The S2000, for instance, was revealed during the company's 50th anniversary. Adding to the intrigue, Honda had teased the introduction of two electric sports cars last year as part of its plan to launch 30 electric vehicles globally by 2030. Notably, the resurgence of the Integra name for Acura sets a precedent for revisiting classic monikers.
If the Prelude were to make a comeback as an electric sports car, it's likely that it would be based on Honda's e:N architecture and incorporate a rear-mounted electric motor. The company's willingness to explore an electric Type R further widens the realm of possibilities, potentially even presenting a contender against the forthcoming generation of Boxster/Cayman models. As the automotive world awaits Honda's next move, enthusiasts and observers alike are left to speculate on the potential revival of the iconic Prelude.