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The Honda Prelude was known in the automotive industry as a step towards innovation, in fact many of todays standards for performance vehicles came from the first steps Honda took on the Honda Prelude. Honda first offered its double wishbone suspension in its 2nd generation Prelude models, and went as far as to try Four Wheel Steering in the later 3rd and 4th generation models. Honda offered many new features that kept both consumers and enthusiasts satisfied, and the prelude market consistent.
Honda's First Prelude
In the early years, when Honda was first introduced into the auto market, most of their sales came from Accords and Civics. Although the profit was well in their favour, something was missing, there was a lack innovation. The Honda Prelude was the answer to this problem. Honda introduced the first Prelude in 1979, featuring a 72 bhp and 95 tq CVCC single cam engine.
The Second and Third Generation Prelude
The introduction of the 2nd and 3rd generation Preludes continued to provide new surprises to the avid consumer and enthusiast alike. The 2nd generation Honda Prelude came to production with a dual carb 2.0 engine, featuring 100 bhp and double wishbone front suspension. The 3rd generation expanded on this template with a sleeker body style, larger base power plant at 135 bhp, and fully upgraded suspension. Not only that, the 3rd generation Prelude brought something completely new to the table, an all wheel steering system, labelled as Four Wheel Steering or '4WS'. The Prelude became a crowd favourite and a track pleaser, and went as far as to win best time in the 1987s slalom run, beating its competitors such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche.
The Last of the Preludes
Every year seemed like an improvement to this car's lineup, and the last generations of the series included both suspension advancements as well as major engine upgrades. The 4th and 5th generation Preludes introduced the H-series engine which featured Honda's infamous Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control system, known as 'VTEC'. The engines featured an explosive 100 hp per litre output.
In 2001, Honda unfortunately ended the production of the Prelude series, but the cars still live on. The chance to own one of Honda's greatest contenders still exists, and can be bought for less than R66 000 ZAR. Known as an innovator, and predecessor to many of today's high-end vehicles, The Honda Prelude, is Honda's forgotten treasure.