Following the concept model’s reveal at the Japan Mobility Show last year, Prelude is set to deliver the perfect balance of exhilarating driving pleasure and outstanding efficiency – embodying Honda’s long-term commitment to electrification in a stylish and dynamic package.

The original Prelude made its European debut 45 years ago and served as a thrilling, high-performance showcase of Honda’s cutting-edge technology for five generations until 2001. The new model promises to be a fitting return for the renowned nameplate, as it delivers a compelling blend of style and sophistication alongside a hybrid powertrain.

The name “Prelude” refers to an introductory piece of music, and appropriately positions the car as a forerunner to future models that embody Honda’s commitment to sports performance – an example of Honda bringing the “joy of driving” to customers across Europe.

Tomoyuki Yamagami, Chief Engineer and Large Project Leader, Honda Motor, said: “The new Prelude not only marks the latest chapter in our ever evolving hybrid story, it is also the product of 25 years of pioneering hybrid research and development. Ensuring this model maintains 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.”

“In addition, the Prelude demonstrates the continued importance of hybrid powertrains as part of Honda’s automobile electrification strategy – a key step towards our commitment for 100% of new vehicle sales to be battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell by 2040.”

25-Years of Hybrid Performance

This year sees Honda celebrate a quarter of a century of pioneering hybrid expertise, following the arrival of the revolutionary Insight coupe as Europe’s first mass-produced hybrid model back in 1999. Ever since, the brand has pioneered the development of petrol-electric powertrain technology, with a range of models that have helped drivers make the smoothest, most convenient, and cost-effective switch to an electrified future.

Following the arrival of the Insight, Honda launched the Civic IMA in 2003, which paired a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a 1.3-litre i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine and 20-horsepower electric motor to offer increased fuel efficiency. Seven-years later, the CR-Z was introduced, combining Honda’s unique IMA parallel hybrid system with a 1.5-litre petrol engine and manual transmission to offer an ideal balance between engaging driving dynamics and fuel economy.

In 2011, Jazz Hybrid continued to offer the practicality for which it was known – including “Magic Seats” and 300-litres of boot space – thanks to the compact nature of the Honda IMA hybrid system. Five years later and the arrival of the NSX saw the introduction of the most-technologically-advanced all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain of the time to the supercar segment.

Today, Honda’s mainstream automobile range is fully electrified, with Jazz, Civic, HR-V, ZR-V and CR-V all available with e:HEV powertrains as standard. Featuring advanced powertrains that shift seamlessly between EV, hybrid and engine drive with no input from the driver, they all combine exceptional ease-of-use with a rewarding driving experience, alongside highly competitive efficiency and emissions.