The Honda Prelude was introduced to the world for the 1979 model year and lived through five different generations, with the final generation ending with the 2001 model year. If you’re someone who is into Muscle, then the Prelude may not have meant much to you, but for fans of the Honda brand, or tuners in general, the Honda Prelude was an important item. Based very loosely on the Honda Accord, the Prelude was a bit more cramped inside, but as it evolved from generation to generation, it got better and better. Unfortunately, sales weren’t all that good dropping from more than 330,000 models sold from 1983 to 1987 to less than 60,000 examples between 1997 and 2001 — ultimately leading to the demise of the sports coupe. Well, for those of us who have missed the sporty little coupe, there may be a little bit of hope yet, as the senior planner for the Civic, Rob Keough, reportedly told Car Buzz that there have been “hallway conversations” within Honda about the car’s revival.
What “hallway conversations” means is really unclear, as it could mean just about anything. Maybe there’s just some lonely engineer talking with a couple of buddies around the water cooler about how awesome it would be to see a new Prelude go into production. Or, maybe it’s a serious conversation between an engineer and someone who might have a little bit of say or persuasive power. Either way, the fact that a car that was discontinued 15 years ago is still floating around in the heads of some over at Honda is a big deal. The question is, whether or not there’s a real business case for such a model to come back. It would be a travesty to call something other than a sports coupe a Prelude. That would be like giving a new SUV the NSX nomenclature. Right now, the only real competition out there would be the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 twins, and those aren’t exactly performing quite as well as they would have 20 years ago when the sports coupe market was strong.
Then again, the Civic Si and Civic Type R have been met with massive enthusiasm this year, so there is hope that little Japanese sports coupes can make a comeback, but I honestly wouldn’t hold my breath as it’s definitely a reach hoping that the Prelude comes back anytime soon. Still, hang onto that little bit of hope, because as someone who’s driven one in the past, I sure do.