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New Honda Prelude Concept makes Goodwood debut

Honda’s Prelude Concept has been shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, previewing a production version bound for UK shores

Following the reveal of Honda’s Prelude Concept at the 2023 Tokyo Motor show, there were whispers that the firm would return to the two-door sports coupe market with a hybrid-powered production version. Those rumours have now become a reality, with Honda confirming that the Prelude will reach UK showrooms as a driver-oriented, electrified BMW 4-series rival. 

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To drum up interest before a projected release next year, Honda has displayed the Prelude Concept at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The design of the production version is still under wraps, but given that the show car lacks outlandish details and rides on sensibly-sized wheels, it's safe to assume that the concept is largely representative. It doesn't have the classical long bonnet, short-tail proportions of something like a Toyota Supra, hinting that the Prelude will be underpinned by a more conventional front-drive architecture – most likely borrowed from the latest Civic. 

As demonstrated by the stunning FL5 Type R, the Civic's platform can deliver a finely-honed and involving driving experience, and Honda will tap into this potential for the Prelude. According to Chief Engineer Tomoyuki Yamagami, the new model will ‘maintain its ‘sporty’ DNA by perfectly blending the efficiency and environmental advantages of electrified driving with an exhilarating experience behind the wheel – liberating users from their daily lives with increased driving pleasure’.

On the point of electrification, expect the Civic’s hybrid powertrain to make an appearance, combining a 2-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine with two electric motors. During normal driving the combustion engine is used as a generator to power the e-motors, but at higher speeds it can drive the wheels directly. Combined, the system delivers 181bhp and 232lb ft of torque, propelling the Civic from standstill to 62mph in 7.9sec. A boost in output plus a potential weight saving from the Prelude’s two-door body could see it trim that time down. 

As its name suggests, the Prelude marks the beginning of a new era of Honda sports cars, with further electrified models planned to affirm Honda’s ‘commitment to sports performance’. Expect the production model to go on sale in 2025.

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