'Joy of driving' still front of mind according to Honda; new coupe suggests it might be willing to prove it
By PH Staff / Wednesday, 25 October 2023 / Loading comments
True to form, Honda took the Toyko Motor Show’s rebirth as the ‘Japan Mobility Show’ to heart this week and showed a whole heap of stuff intended to help people ‘transcend various constraints such as time and place’. Which, of course, is press conference code for the sort of autonomous, driverless, generative-AI-powered tat that we generally couldn’t care less about (save for the latest iteration of HondaJet and its investment in eVTOL tech, which are both very cool – but unlikely to appear on your driveway).
Likely conscious that it was in danger of losing its audience toward the end of its keynote speech, Honda’s president pulled a one-more-thing envelope out right at the death – inside that (metaphorical) envelope was the completely unexpected Prelude Concept. Granted, the moment was slightly ruined by an explanation of the word ‘prelude’, but anyone old enough to recall the fourth- or fifth-generation real-world model obviously needs no reminding of its significance in a Honda context.
Of course, what Toshihiro Mibe was getting at was the idea of the concept being a forerunner to a new generation of models that “will inherit the ‘joy of driving’ into the full-fledged electrified future and embody Honda’s unalterable sports mindset.” He then went on to provide absolutely no additional technical information on the car itself, except to say that “we are diligently progressing with development, so please keep your expectations high for this model.”
The sentiment does at least suggest that the firm is serious about building a ‘speciality sports’ car and we should probably all be encouraged by the distinctly un-concept like look of the Prelude Concept. From its conservative front end to proper door mirrors, the show stand EV looks endearingly close to a production reality. It would still require a leap of faith given the notoriously sluggish business case for compact coupes – but with Toyota and Mazda evidently keen on the idea of a new generation of sports cars, we live, as ever, in hope.
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