Honda Prelude was manufactured by Honda Motor Company from the year 1978 to 2001. Prelude was basically a sports coupe with a front-engine, front-wheel drive sports car that replaced the Honda S800. The Honda Prelude saw five generations before its production was ceased by the company because of its declining popularity and sales. In North America, the fifth generation version released in 2001as Honda Integra or Acura RSX and the Honda S2000 was released in 1999. The sixth generation and the succeeding Honda Accord Coupes served the purpose of de facto replacement for Prelude in the United States.
The Prelude was in constant competition with the Toyota Celica that was a straight-4-powered coupe launched many years prior to the Prelude. In the 1980s, the competition of Prelude was with the Nissan Silvia, Isuzu impulse, Mitsubishi Cordia (Eclipse), Mitsubishi FTO, Mazda MX-6, Ford Probe, Opel Manta and Opel Calibra. Eclipse is the only vehicle in the aforementioned vehicles that remains in production while all the other were discontinued.
First generation (1979–1982)
The first generation Prelude based on the second generation Civic was released on November 24, 1978. Majority of the features including the wheel independent struts, brakes, floorpans etc were taken from the second generation Civic. The car featured an EK SOHC 12-valve 1750 cc CVCC inline four engine. However, an EL SOHC 8-valve 1602 (non-CVCC) inline four was used in the models sold in UK Australia and Canada.
Second generation (1983–1987)
In 1983, the second generation Prelude appeared. In the beginning, the car featured A18A or ET-2, 1.8-L 12-valve twin carburetor engine with 110 HP (77 kW), along with fuel injection in its Si models. However, for Japan, Asia and Europe, the car got a 2-liter DOHC 16-valve PGM-FI engine.
Third generation (1988–1991)
In 1988, the third generation Prelude launched in Japan and was pretty much similar to its previous generation model. However, this new generation Prelude got a four-wheel steering on some models. Certain new engines were introduced in USDM models including: the models between 1998-1990 got 2.0S, the B20A3 which is a SOHC 12-valve dual-sidedraft carburetor engine displacing 1958 cc capable of producing up to 104 hp (78 kW) and 111 lb·ft (150 Nm); the models between 1990-1991recieved 2.0Si, the B20A5 with DOHC and PGM-FI that increased power to 135 hp (101 kW) and 127 lb·ft (172 Nm). The Australian model B20A6 received a 2.0 DOHC 16-valve PGM-FI engine, also 1958 cc, generating 142 hp (106 kW) and 127 lb·ft (172 Nm).
Fourth generation (1992–1996)
The fourth generation model is officially released in 1992 while it was released in 1991 in Japanese marker. The engine power was improved from 2.1-L to 2.2-L for the base model ‘S’ with SOHC F22A1 engine, 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp) at 5200 rpm, 193 Nm (142 lb-ft) at 4000 rpm) and “VTEC” model (DOHC VTEC H22A1, 190 PS (140 kW; 187 hp) at 6800 rpm, 207 N· (153 lb-ft at 5500 rpm). The Si model received a 2.3-L, DOHC H23A1, 160 PS (118 kW; 158 HP) at 5800 rpm, 212 Nm (156 lb-ft at 5300 rpm) while the Japanese Si model received F22B. 2.2-L, DOHC non-VTEC, 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp)
Fifth generation (1997–2001)
The fifth generation Prelude was launched in 1997. The FF layout was retained in the fifth generation model. It came in both 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmission. Majority of the model featured 16-inch (410 mm) aluminum alloy wheels with all-season 205/50 R16 87V tires.