The hybrid-electric Honda Prelude Concept made its return to the Los Angeles Auto Show, demonstrating Honda’s commitment to offering exhilarating products moving into the electrified future. With an iconic nameplate that symbolizes the importance of its role in the Honda electrification strategy, the star of the recent Japan Mobility Show represents a prelude to future electrified Honda models created to advance the joy of driving.
“Honda hybrid-electric models have been doing a great job of furthering our electrification strategy and now represent over one-quarter of Honda sales in 2023,” said Gary Robinson, vice president Auto Planning and Strategy, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Displaying the hybrid Prelude Concept demonstrates our electrification strategy in a sporty and dynamic package.”
The sleek two-door coupe returned 45 years after the first-generation Prelude entered production in November 1978. A favorite of automotive enthusiasts, the sports coupe remained in the Honda lineup for five-generations through the 2001 model year.
The Prelude will begin arriving at Honda dealers early 2024.
Toward its goal to achieve carbon neutrality for all products by 2050, Honda has a vision to make battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles represent 100% of new vehicle sales by 2040. Hybrid-electric vehicles are a key step in this strategy, now representing over one-third of Honda’s total 2023 sales.
Honda has chosen to pursue hybrid technology over fully electric vehicles (BEVs) for now. Some feel that going directly to BEV would be a better strategy given the current market trends toward electrification. For example, reviving the Honda Prelude nameplate as an all-electric sports coupe could take advantage of increasing consumer interest in EVs, while also filling a gap since there are few all-electric coupes available. Honda likely has valid reasons “behind” their technology roadmap. However, focusing R&D efforts more heavily on BEVs may prove fruitful for them, especially in certain market segments. I look forward to seeing how Honda’s future vehicle plans balance hybrid and electric drivetrains.