It’s been 17 years since the 5th gen Honda Prelude ended production but these guys over in Japan think that 2019 marks its return.

Rumors were abound in 2017 that Honda was going to bring out a new Prelude at the Tokyo Motor Show but that show came and went. Now, according to CarMuse with zero proof to back up their claim, they think next year Honda will bring back the Prelude, which I’m all for. Check out a couple of renderings of what they think this new Prelude will look like.

Perhaps the time is nigh for the Prelude to make a revival. Arguably it was the Honda Accord Coupe introduced in 1998 that killed the Honda Prelude and with the Accord Coupe officially dead, Honda doesn’t have a coupé offering besides the Civic.

1978 was the first year of the Prelude and was what fueled a lot of the rumors of a 2017 announcement leading to a 40-year-anniversary launch of the sixth-gen Prelude. As mentioned, with that date now passed, Prelude dreams are still alive and well in Japan which trickles down into other countries.

And rightfully so as the Prelude enjoyed special status in Japan when it left in 2001 with a special Honda Prelude Type S. This Prelude had a slightly more powerful and higher compression H22A blue top engine with 220 HP and 163 lb-ft compared to its USDM counterpart. Honda massaged its intake and exhaust for better power and deleted the sunroof to make it lighter. Japan misses the Prelude.

According to Honda in their official press release preserved by

Historically, the Prelude has served as a technology demonstrator for promising Honda automotive technologies (many of which, such as double wishbone suspension and 4-wheel steering, have been designed to enhance vehicle handling and stability).

Today we see those technologies alive and kicking with Honda’s SH-AWD system at least.

Honda now is all about pushing alternative energies heavily thanks to a new all-electric sports coupe and urban runabout not to mention their Honda Clarity that runs on hydrogen, a gas-electric combo or all-electric. Honda bringing something like the Prelude back as a test bench of their technologies mixed with sportiness would fit into their agenda quite nicely.

Honda Urban EV Concept unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show
Honda Clarity
2018 Honda Clarity

I can imagine Honda stuffing a variant of their new 1.5T found in the Civic with torque filling technologies aided by hybrid technology ala their Acura NSX. And like the NSX, torque vectoring is definitely Prelude, so Honda can easily integrate that into their FWD drivetrain with very little R&D.

Honda probably won’t bring a Prelude back in 2019 but I’d like to keep this rumor mill going anyhow.


  1. The 1998-01 Honda Prelude was a complete failure. The H22 engine was a disaster for Honda and was notorious for burning oil. Honda discontinued the Prelude because it was a lemon and tarnished the Honda name. Honda is not the company it was in the 1980 and 90’s; as their quality is no longer where it once was.

    • Really? I’ve heard that Honda chose to keep making the similar Accord Coupe over the Prelude of the time. Also, I beg to differ with that last statement. I’ve sat in the new Civic and have only heard positive things about the build quality, fitment, and performance of the new models. Civic dethroned Corolla in 2015 and has held the compact crown ever since. Perhaps the new Civic isn’t AS good as a 2000 Honda Civic or similar offerings of the time but it’s pretty darn good.

    • I can’t speak for the 98-01 Prelude’s but I have owned a 97 SH for almost 20 years now and it is by far the best car I have ever owned. It now has over 160 000 miles on it and has been on the race track, used as a daily driver and been through a few tough winters and everything still works. This is all without following the maintenance schedule but doing regular oil changes. It burns oil like ALL Honda’s did of those years but it’s still an awesome car and I would say has a great reputation among car enthusiasts. Getting OEM part tho it getting harder and harder!

  2. What you have failed to remember. Is that the Prelude line was always a “concept car” while in production! The Prelude was Honda’s testing model for new systems, from the V-tec line of engines to the AWS System(All Wheel Steering). And everything in between. If it worked…they put it in Civics & Accords(And any other model it would improve). So I, personally, would expect a lot of new technology as well as design in anything they put the Prelude name on!
    I mean…come on! It’s in the damn name!?

  3. I think Honda should bring back both the Prelude and Acura Integra as high tech, cutting edge electric cars and make them sharing the same platform. Would bring so much excitement toward the company and showrooms.


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