Currently reading: Honda Prelude revived as sleek hybrid coupe
New concept intended to prove brand’s commitment to “joy of driving” into electric age

The Honda Prelude has returned as a hybrid sports coupé intended to demonstrate the brand’s commitment to the “joy of driving” during the transition to electric cars.

Unveiled in concept form at the Tokyo motor show, the new Prelude is intended to “embody Honda’s unalterable sports mindset”, according to the firm’s president and CEO, Toshihiro Mibe.

“The Prelude concept is a speciality sports model that will offer exhilarating experience that makes you want to keep going forever,” said Mibe.

Honda did not reveal any technical details or a release date for the Prelude, stating only that “we are diligently progressing with development”. Mibe urged the public to “keep your expectations high”.

Honda Prelude concept Tokyo motor show rear quarter

Contrary to previous reports, the Prelude is powered by a hybrid powertrain rather than a battery-electric one, a spokesperson for American Honda confirmed.

The Prelude concept was shown alongside two other concepts that showcase Honda's vision for the future: the Honda E-like Sustaina-C concept and the CI-MEV mobility pod.

The Honda Sustaina-C has been created to show how cars can be constructed sustainably. It is made from recycled acrylic resin, which, Honda says, can be reused again. “This kind of resource circulation will enable us to transcend the constraints of the limited availability of resources,” said Mibe.

It also borrows design cues from the first-generation Honda City, which was sold as the Jazz in Europe, though Honda has given no indication whether it previews an electric replacement for today's Honda Jazz.

Honda Sustaina-C concept Tokyo motor show front

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It is not thought to hint at a next-generation Honda E either, despite its resemblance. Rebecca Adamson, head of cars for Honda UK, told Autocar in July: “There won’t be more cars the size of the Honda E.”

The even smaller CI-MEV concept, meanwhile, is a self-driving two-seat “micro-mobility” vehicle in the mould of the Citroën Ami, targeted at elderly people in rural environments.

Honda CI-MEV concept front quarter

Mibe said: “Such people tend to have a limited living radius. If there are products that offer easily accessible, last-mile mobility, people can go places, farther, faster, and more casually.

“And if everyone can enjoy mobility more freely and expand their living radius, they will have more chance to meet new people, which we believe will augment people’s possibilities.”

Honda also displayed General Motors’ Cruise Origin autonomous taxi on its show stand, announcing plans to launch a driverless taxi service in Japan using the pod in 2026.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a MG Metro 6R4 feature

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like a Caterham Seven or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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Marc 25 October 2023
Renault Laguna coupe.
si73 25 October 2023
This prelude and the way they talk about it as though it will happen, is great news, Japanese sports coupes coming back. Fantastic, love it.
jason_recliner 26 October 2023

Yep, and great to see cars again that just exist for the sake of looking good.

si73 26 September 2023
I wish honda had done something with the ev coupe that was shown as a prototype when they first showed the honda e prototype, as that little coupe was a stunner.