Complete Honda Prelude lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1997 Honda Prelude V (BB) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1996 - 2001 Honda Prelude CoupePrelude V (BB)3 Trims 133 to 200 Hp 1992 Honda Prelude IV (BB) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1992 - 1996 Honda Prelude CoupePrelude IV (BB)3 Trims 133 to 185 Hp 1987 Honda Prelude III (BA) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1986 - 1992 Honda Prelude CoupePrelude III (BA)7 Trims 109 to 150 Hp 1983 Honda Prelude II (AB) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1983 - 1987 Honda Prelude CoupePrelude II (AB)2 Trims 101 to 105 Hp 1978 Honda Prelude I Coupe (SN) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1979 - 1983 Honda Prelude CoupePrelude I Coupe (SN)1 Trim 80 Hp

The Honda Prelude is a 2-door coupé sports car manufactured and marketed by Honda from November 1978 to October 2001. There were five generations of this two-door coupe, loosely based on Honda's Accord. Honda introduced the Honda Verno retail sales network in Japan with the Prelude, and the vehicle went on sale in other countries not long after. After the launch of the fourth-generation Integra in 2001, the manufacturing of the Prelude finally ended.

History of the Honda Prelude

Honda Prelude First Generation (1978–1982)

On November 24, 1978, Honda introduced the Prelude to the Japanese market. It made its debut at the 1979 AutoRAI in Amsterdam two months later. Honda Verno was the only retailer in Japan where customers could purchase it. The Honda Quint, Honda Ballade, and Honda Vigor, all based on the Accord, were also released by this dealership network as their biggest sedans and hatchbacks. Honda used the Accord's engine, brakes, and suspension in the first-generation Prelude's unique chassis, which reduced the wheelbase by 2.4 inches compared to the bigger coupe. Despite its outstanding name and Honda's record for superb tiny vehicles, the Prelude's initial generation didn't sell very well. This was due to a high sticker price and a ride quality that wasn't quite up to scratch with the aggressive, compact picture Honda was trying to project.

Honda Prelude Second Generation (1982–1987)

Honda unveiled the second generation of the Honda Prelude in 1983, and it was a dynamic small coupe that outperformed its predecessor in every way. Honda developed the Prelude to be a weekday commuting vehicle and a weekend performance coupe. A car that was fuel-efficient and performed well was rare on the racetrack. Despite this, the automobile was able to complete both missions. The carmaker had to rework the suspension because of the new, more compact design. An independent MacPherson strut rear suspension and a new double-wishbone front suspension improve handling and ride quality. It started with a 100 hp 1.8L four-cylinder engine, but in 1986-1987, a 2.0L engine with 110 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque was introduced to the Prelude 2.0 Si. The second-generation Prelude's 0-60 mph time is somewhere in the 9-second range compared to the first-generation model's 8-second time.

Honda Prelude Third Generation (1987–1991)

The third-generation Prelude went on sale in Japan on April 9, 1987, and was available in the rest of the globe by the end of the year as a 1988 model year in North America. Honda was inspired by the Honda NSX,  unveiled in the second half of 1990, and carried over many stylistic elements from its predecessor.
The pop-up headlights, featured for the first time on a Prelude, drew the public's attention. Honda made rear-end changes by adding a spoiler incorporated into the trunk lid. A 30% improvement in glass coverage and a reduction in the roof pillars improved visibility. Honda claims the new roof is sturdier than the previous one. With 109 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque through a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission, Honda's renowned B20A engine generation drives the whole range. When the mid-cycle update took place in 1990-1991, the 2.0 Si's power was increased to 140 hp and 135 lb-ft by using a 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder with 135 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque.

Honda Prelude Fourth Generation (1991–1996)

In 1991, Honda debuted the fourth generation of the Prelude in Japan, and a year later, it was available in other countries across the world. Although they only built it for five years, Honda's Prelude was a tough rival for other coupes on the market. The Honda Accord fourth generation was used as a base for this automobile. However, they added the legendary VTEC engines. The most important components of the Prelude's fourth-generation were the platform and the technology employed. VTEC was only available on one of the three engines available for installation under the hood. Carmakers placed an independent suspension on all four wheels and four-wheel-steering as an extra or standard on some models, depending on the model.

Honda Prelude Fifth Generation (1996–2001)

On November 7, 1996, Honda unveiled the fifth-generation Prelude. Despite being Honda's final version of the Prelude, it wasn't one of the best-selling models. Occasionally, a vehicle manufacturer discontinues an entire model line without offering a replacement. The sporty coupe Prelude, which shared its basis with the Honda Accord's fourth generation, faced the same problem. Rear-wheel steering was no longer an option, but drivers who wanted a technical kick in the pants could get one with the new Type SH (for Super Handling). As a predecessor to Acura's widespread SH-AWD system, the SH included Honda's sophisticated Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS). The completion of the Prelude produced only a small number of Type SHs in 2001 as they showed the heavy, expensive, and inefficient ATTS technology to be unpopular.


In 2001, Honda retailed the last models of the Honda Prelude with a starting price of $23,600 ($38,500) and could go up to $26,100 ($$42,600), depending on the trim levels.

Features of the Honda Prelude

Two people could comfortably sit in the front on the vehicle's high-bolstered bucket seats. Due to the lack of legroom and headroom, the automobile manufacturer added a bench large enough to contain a child's seat and a pair of sneakers but not large enough for an average-sized adult. Honda prioritized the driver's needs and provided the very best of what it had to give. The slim A-pillars and broadside windows provide an excellent all-around view, together with a speed-variable steering wheel and all the controls within easy reach of the driver's fingertips. Two medium-sized bags fit comfortably in the trunk. While the fifth and final generation of the Honda Prelude didn't have great results as its predecessor, it had certain other qualities that merited more customers than its predecessor. The swept-back and squared-off headlamps above the hood made it stand out from the competition. Honda's horizontal taillights were instantly recognizable with straight lines and narrow reversing lights.

Standard Features of the Honda Prelude

  • Air Conditioning With a Filtration System
  • Cruise Control
  • Manual Driver's Seat Height Adjustment
  • A Power Sunroof With a Tilt Feature
  • Power Windows
  • Locks and Mirrors
  • A Leather-Wrapped Tilt Steering Wheel
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • A 120-Watt Stereo With CD Player
  • Tachometer
  • An Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System
  • Active Torque Transfer System
  • A Rear Spoiler With
  • An Integral Brake Light
  • A Leather-Wrapped Gearshift Lever

Specs and Performance of the Honda Prelude

Honda installed a 2.2L VTi engine for the Honda Prelude, and this model delivers 200 hp (147 kW) at 7,000 rpm and 156 lb-ft (211 Nm) of torque at 5,250 rpm. This Honda Prelude accelerates from 0-62 mph (100 kph) in 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 142 mph (229 kph). The car's curb weight depends on the variant: a curb weight of 2,954 lbs (1,340 kg) Base model and 3,042 lbs (1,380 kg) for the SH model. Honda manufactured the Prelude model with a 4-speed automatic and a 5-speed manual transmission. All models are driven with a front-wheel-drive (FWD) drivetrain.

Release Date

Honda manufactured and sold the Honda Prelude from November 1978 to October 2001. The Accord Coupe (seventh generation) and Honda Integra (fourth generation) served as the Prelude's replacements.