New Honda Prelude hybrid sports coupe goes official: is it coming to NZ?

Jet Sanchez
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Honda has revived the iconic Prelude with hybrid power.

Honda has revived the iconic Prelude with hybrid power.

Honda has officially announced the return of the Prelude, a nameplate held in high regard by sports coupe enthusiasts worldwide.

The all-new Prelude will be a hybrid, deviating from its sporty, petrol-powered predecessors. Honda has confirmed a European launch with strong indications of a US release as well.

However, the Japanese carmaker has kept mum on the new Prelude's release status for other markets, including New Zealand. But that could all change soon, depending on Honda's global strategy, of course.

In the meantime, let's explore what has changed with the returning Honda Prelude.

Design blends heritage with modern looks

2025 Honda Prelude New Zealand

New images released by Honda showcase a sleek red coupe, echoing the lines of the original Prelude concept while incorporating modern design elements. It features a long hood, flowing roofline and sharp character lines, giving it a sporty yet sophisticated appearance.

The new model also dwarfs its predecessor considerably, indicating a prevailing market preference for larger, more imposing cars.

2025 Honda Prelude New Zealand

It's a clear design evolution, showcasing how the Prelude has grown (literally) over its nearly 30-year hiatus.

Tomoyuki Yamagami, Honda's chief engineer, emphasised the Prelude's role in Honda's electrification strategy: "The new Prelude not only marks the latest chapter in our ever-evolving hybrid story, it is also the product of 25 years of pioneering hybrid research and development."

Hybrid powertrain promises fun and efficiency

2025 Honda Prelude New Zealand

While specific details about the hybrid powertrain remain under wraps, reports suggest it could be the same 2.0-litre e-HEV system found in the new and locally available CR-V RS e:HEV.

This setup combines a petrol engine with two electric motors, prioritising efficiency without sacrificing driving enjoyment. It delivers 135kW/335Nm as configured in the CR-V, although the new Prelude might equip a modified or differently tuned unit.

The Prelude is also expected to showcase Honda's latest technological advancements. This will likely include advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), an improved infotainment system and a fully digital instrument cluster. Additionally, the use of lightweight materials in its construction could enhance handling and performance.

Goodwood debut and beyond

 2025 Honda Prelude New Zealand

Honda will showcase the production-ready Prelude in depth at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week, generating excitement before its anticipated 2025 launch.

Apart from Europe, Honda has yet to confirm whether it will launch the new Prelude in other markets. The US seems like a likely candidate, but here's hoping the first Prelude in over two decades makes its way to NZ.


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