Published on February 26th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda Prelude Is A Forgotten JDM Sports Car
This version of the Prelude is probably the best and should not be forgotten.
Do you remember the 3rd generation Honda Prelude? Some of you might not have even heard of the name ‘Honda Prelude’ and this is because Honda retired the name and also from the sport car segment in the year 2001. Why? we have never gotten an answer from Honda management and it is really a shame as this was a handsome sports car in its day and even today.
Throughout the production of the Prelude, it competed for market share with the Nissan Silvia, Mitsubishi FTO, Mitsubishi Cordia and the little known Mazda MX-6.
The Prelude’s distinctive design draws people’s attention with the pop-up headlights introduced for the first time on a Prelude. The front end was smoothed out and the rear end changed with the spoiler integrated into the trunk lid. Some enthusiast have remarked that this Prelude was like a baby NSX.
Honda brought many innovative features with the new Prelude. This third generation Prelude was similar to the second generation, however it gained four wheel steering on some models, as well as a 2.0 L SOHC carbureted engine, then came a B20A DOHC EFI engine and towards the end of its production life there was a slightly-larger B21A1 from 1990 to 1991.
The third generation Prelude also had some new external designs worth mentioning. The hood-line was designed to be the lowest hood-line of any front wheel drive car in the world, allowing for better forward visibility. The drag resistance was impressive and provided for high-speed stability.
Another unique structural element of the third generation Prelude was the high-strength metal used in the 6 roof pillars. The roof pillars were so slim that all-around visibility was amazingly clear
This Prelude also had such as an extraordinary 0.34 drag coefficient and the world’s first mechanical four-wheel-steering (4WS) system available for a passenger car. With the new 4WS, the car could go a little faster in turns than with the 2WS and as speed climbed, the drivers had better cornering ability.
The four wheel steering system on this third generation Prelude was an extraordinary piece of engineering in itself. There is always a direct mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the rear wheels. This means the four-wheel steering-equipped Prelude was intuitive to drive, unlike most other four wheel steering systems in which the rear wheels were controlled indirectly by a computer.
Despite a weight increase compared to the previous generation Prelude, the Si model offered improved performance from the 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine that produced 158hp at 6,300rpm and 186Nm of torque when well maintained. This Prelude weighs in at just 1040kg, surprised at its lightweight?
This Si engine was mated to either a 5-speed manual gearbox (which is very rare) or a 4-speed automatic. Quite impressive for the time, the Prelude needed just 9 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill while running on factory 14-inch wheels.
Inside, the Prelude was fitted with firm and comfortable manually adjustable bucket seats. The gauges were basic and easy to read and the dashboard was well laid out.
We wonder if Honda Japan would ever bring back the Prelude name.