The Honda Prelude: A Name to Remember

Will the EV Element be Next?

Honda has stunned the audience at the 2019 LA Auto Show after unveiling their brand new Prelude Hybrid concept for its first US appearance. Not a whole lot had evolved since it was introduced during the Japan Mobility Show, however conversing with a PR rep and gauging the general response on social media to the thrilling news of the makeover of this classic name plate gives us a clue to how strongly consumers are connecting to the nostalgia. It appears like Honda won’t be waiting too long before officially announcing the production of the Prelude. Can we expect more of these retro titles for their hybrid and electric vehicles in the future? It remains to be seen.

“At present, we are attempting to ascertain what markets the (Prelude) can be sold in and where it could be produced,” stated Honda spokesperson Chris Martin. “Since the Civic Coupe is no longer available, we perceive the Prelude filling a plethora of segments in many areas.”

It’s certainly fascinating to consider, even if I confess I’ve held a somewhat skeptical attitude surrounding the new Prelude concept. How delightful it looks! That said, by my reckoning it feels much like one might expect if the Civic Coupe had been refreshed. Not that there is anything wrong with this picture – in fact, the Civic Coupe’s demise was likely due to its lack of popularity. Yet, here we are – after a minor restyling and a fondly remembered name, attention was once more focused on an obscure coupe body style. Does the aura of nostalgia have something to do with it? This is something Martin alluded to.

People constantly inquire as to whether we will revive some of the heralded nameplates – Element, Integra, Prelude, and so forth. These titles are all very popular, so why not? Acura went that path when transitioning from ILX to ‘Integra’, and this has become one of the company’s top-selling motor vehicles. Nobody favored the ILX but the Integra is highly adored, albeit with a minimal distinction between the two; they are both powered-up illustrious adaptations of the Honda Civic.

Likewise, the Civic Coupe may have been unsuccessful, yet with the passionate response to the Prelude, perhaps we can anticipate a reappearance of the sporty minor coupé. By attaching hybrid power this time, it will also cut pollution, which many purchasers desire, even if it yields it will not be the most athletic car in Honda’s line-up.

Presently, we don’t have any coupes in our North American selection, since purchasers of Civic gravitated more towards the hatchback model; and that may develop a potential opening for Prelude in the near future if there is ample interest for this sporty coupe here,” remarked Martin in a subsequent message.

Is it conceivable that other badges reappear? As yet, it is uncertain; but nevertheless, I ponder if an electric cuboidal crossover equipped with a wiping floor would be a novel exploitation of the Element name. One thing can be certainly guaranteed—Honda appears to have legitimate hopes for the comeback of the Prelude.

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