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Honda celebrates 25 years of hybrid power with the Prelude Concept

The hybrid coupe’s debut in Europe could be a hint toward a production model

Red helps accentuate the clean coupe design. PHOTO FROM HONDA

Months after its Japan Mobility Show debut, Honda has announced that the Prelude Concept is coming to Europe just in time for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

This also coincides with the Japanese brand celebrating 25 years of engineering hybrid powertrains for the masses. Not only did it engineer electrified derivatives of existing names like the Civic and the CR-V, but independent models were also created as rolling labs for the road.

Who knew that a small, bubbly liftback led to a 573hp AWD rocket? PHOTOS FROM HONDA

Honda’s first attempt at electrification was the Insight in 1999 carrying a bubbly body with covered rear wheels achieving a 0.25 drag coefficient. With a CVT or a five-speed manual, this two-door hypermiling machine had a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine paired with a 144V battery motor known as Integrated Motor Assist.

The formula for an exclusively hybrid model continued with the CR-Z in 2010 with design inspiration from the legendary CR-X and a sport-oriented 1.5-liter four-cylinder combined with a 100.8V battery pack.

Finally, the NSX needs no introduction as the company’s 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged, dual-electric motor halo supercar from 2016 to 2021.

Honda would also utilize its hybrid expertise in Formula 1 with McLaren and Red Bull Racing, with the latter efforts famously bringing Max Verstappen to his first world driver’s championship in 2021.

Following from the Insight and the CR-Z, fingers crossed for a manual in consideration. PHOTOS FROM HONDA

As for the future of hybrid-powered Honda, the Prelude Concept almost appears production-ready wearing candy-red paint, side mirrors, and black 20-inch wheels.

While powertrain options haven’t been announced yet, everyone speculates that the upcoming coupe might house the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with dual motors from the facelifted Civic. We will have to wait for more information to come out of Goodwood starting tomorrow (July 11).

In a quarter of a century, Honda has shaped its hybrid technology to its current e:HEV range of vehicles, and it’s getting more exciting with the Prelude eyeing a 2025-2026 production target.

Are you excited to see the two-door nameplate return—maybe even joining Honda Cars Philippines’ future lineup?

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.