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2026 Honda Prelude Concept: A Nostalgic Comeback

It’s been about 23 years since the Honda Prelude name was last seen in the United States. However, at the 2023 Los Angeles International Auto Show, Honda unveiled the 2026 Honda Prelude concept. While still a concept vehicle, this is a strong indication that the Prelude may be making a comeback to the States very soon.

2026 Honda Prelude
2026 Honda Prelude

The 2026 Honda Prelude boasts a 45-year history in America, first introduced back in 1978 and lasting until 2001. Throughout its five generations, the Prelude became known as a technological test bed for Honda, frequently introducing new technologies. With this latest concept, Honda seems to be testing the waters for the return of this iconic nameplate.

Let’s delve into the exterior details. Despite being a concept, the front end of the Prelude concept appears almost production-ready. The design features a new kind of LED headlight with a light bar connecting the two headlights.

While some say it resembles a Toyota Prius, the unique styling and carbon fiber accents make it stand out. Notably, the concept sports the older Honda Logo from the ’90s and early 2000s, adding a nostalgic touch.

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Under the hood, contrary to speculation about it being fully electric, Honda confirmed the Prelude concept will have a hybrid powertrain. Although specific details are yet to be revealed, it’s likely to feature a setup similar to the Accord and CRV hybrids, with a 2L 4-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors, delivering around 204 horsepower.

Ideally, Honda will enhance the Prelude’s power, potentially reaching 250 to 300 horsepower. The car will likely be front-wheel drive, though an all-wheel drive option might be possible. Despite not expecting a manual transmission, it’s refreshing to see Honda opting for a hybrid instead of a full battery electric vehicle.

The car’s profile is beautifully proportioned, resembling the size of a Civic Coupe. The sleek Coupe body line, gloss black multi-spoke 20-inch wheels, massive brakes with blue painted Brembo calipers, and carbon fiber mirrors all contribute to a production-ready appearance. The dark-tinted windows hint at its early prototype status.

From the side, the Prelude concept features a swooping coupe body line. The mirrors and door handles, resembling EV styles, indicate a modern touch. At the rear, the design pays homage to the third-generation Prelude, featuring a full light blade LED tail light, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, and a mix of new and old Honda badging.

The aggressive rear diffuser, blue LED lights, and lack of a visible exhaust tip suggest a blend of futuristic design and traditional elements. The concept has a conventional trunk, but many hope for an eventual hatchback version.

This exciting reveal shows Honda’s intent to re-enter the coupe market in North America, a segment currently lacking in their lineup. It’s clear that Honda still believes in the appeal of coupes and aims to introduce a new one to the American market.

We hope you enjoyed this overview of the Honda Prelude concept presented at the 2023 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Let us know in the comments what you think of the styling and if you believe Honda should bring this car back.

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