New compact Honda coupe will be 2018 Prelude?

There are quite a lot of rumors regarding the new compact coupe from Honda which is planned to be released sometime in 2018. Some claim it would be more like a Prelude, some claim more Honda S2000 style and layout. These rumors are not supported neither by spy shots, nor by company statements, so we believe it's just a speculation.

Nevertheless, let's try to imagine what would be if Honda decide to bring back one front-wheel drive sports coupe back in production.

Prelude 2018 Release date and pricing

Honda could present Prelude pre-production vehicle in 2018, likely in a earlier part, while production vehicle debuts closer to the end of 2018. Price range could be below $40,000 even for high-packed trims.

New platform

Traditionally, Prelude was more closer to Accord in hearachy, rather than to compact Civic. Today, with the wide usage of modular platforms, Honda could use the same one as in Civic and CR-V for the next Prelude. It could stands between Accord coupe and Civic coupe in terms of wheelbase length.

Exterior and Interior design

Regarding the design of 2018 Honda Prelude, we doesn't have a single clue. We expect that layout will be similar to Subaru BRZ - long hood, short overhangs, sleek lines. The rear slope is likely to be performed in the same way as the latest generation Civic coupe.

Brutal edged look of Prelude, with 19-inch rims and large sport brakes will make it feel more powerful and sportier than it is.

As for interior, we don't expect much luxury here - Prelude should stay affordable, so there might be bucket seats, leather or alcantara wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum pedals, and some more elements of the modern sports car, like all-digital dashboard. Why not? It might look rather like Civic Type-R than Accord coupe.

2018 Honda Prelude Specs

Today Honda's powertrain range is not wide, all engines are familiar, used in compact and mid-size vehicles of the company.

We have doubts that Prelude could get something different than Accord/Civic powertrains, and unlikely to get 3.5 V6 engine as well - it's too heavy weight and unpractical for front-wheel drive sportscoupe. If only Honda makes it bigger, step above Accord coupe.

The highest possibility is that 2018 Prelude would get powertrains identical to Type-R Civic of different generations. Namely, 2-liter turbocharged VTEC engine, forced to 300+ HP and current 1.5-liter turbo unit downforced to 220-250 HP as the standard choice. Both mated with 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic for surcharge. We expect limited slip differential in combination with optional AWD system for better handling.

Why it is unlikely to happen

After all, despite many rumors, we believe that there is still a very little possibilty that we might see Prelude 2018 or any unnamed successor of the model in the nearest future. The reasons are quite obvious, there is no need of such model in Honda line-up. See, those who want high-performance, goes for Civic Type-R, or SI or even Acura ILX. Who needs a bigger coupe, rather choose Accord. Plus, the segment of compact sports coupe is very niche but car producer cannot make much money out of it (unlike from premium coupes).

Honda Prelude model history

Prelude has been produced for quite a long time - from 1978 to 2001, means 23 years.
The very first model produced from 1978-1982 in order to compete with popular Toyota Celica. In the US the model debuted in 1979. Engine range was consist of rather weak inline 4 cylinder engines (72-80 HP). However, it gains generally positive reviews.

Next generation, appeared in 1982, was boxy-shaped, with pop-up headlights, though having more powerful 1.8 and 2.0 engines, combined with modern automatic transmission. It was produced until 1987.

Third generation was innovative because of 4-wheel-steering system, makes it faster in corners than more powerful cars. The styling was similar to the second gen, but become sleeker. Engine range become wider, mostly consist of 2-liter 4 cylinder engines. 3rd gen Prelude gains wide popularity in the US.

1991-1996 Prelude get all-new design, innovative engines with VTEC technology, providing the maximum power output (almost 190 HP from 2.2-liter engine without any turbocharging).

The final generation become more square-body, though has better interior. The car was less popular in the US, has only one 2.2L 200 HP engine. The most powerful modification called Type-S was available only for Japanese Domestic Market, it has the same engine, but equipped with VTEC, makes the power output 217 HP.

2017-09-28 by Luke Widmeyer