Honda has trademarked the Prelude name in the US, fuelling speculation of a revival of the brand’s long-running coupe.

    The filing, first spotted by Motor Trend, is for “Land vehicles, namely, automobiles and automotive structural parts” and is dated August 15, 2023.

    A trademark filing doesn’t necessarily indicate a company will use a name, and in some cases they are lodged simply to protect other parties from using a name.

    However, Japanese outlet Best Car Web reported late last year the Prelude name would return on an electric coupe due in 2028.

    In April 2022, Honda released a shadowy teaser of two sports cars – “a specialty and a flagship model,” the company said at the time, “which will embody Honda’s universal sports mindset and distinctive characteristics”.

    One had proportions similar to the outgoing NSX, while the other had a shape more typical of a front-engine coupe.

    The company hasn’t spoken about these vehicles since, though it did showcase an Acura design study in the vein of a NSX successor.

    Honda ended production of the Prelude in 2001, and the nameplate hasn’t been used since – though the upcoming Prologue electric SUV has a conceptually similar name.

    The company has already brought back the NSX name after an 11-year gap, while the CRX made a comeback of sorts with the short-lived, hybrid-powered CRZ and there have been sporadic rumours about an S2000 revival.

    However, it has been culling its two-door offerings. It ended production of the Accord coupe in 2017, the Civic coupe in 2020, and the NSX and turbocharged S660 Kei roadster in 2022. That leaves the brand with no coupes or convertibles.

    The original Prelude debuted in 1978, and was offered for five generations until its demise in 2001, at a time where the affordable sports coupe market was being dramatically hollowed out.

    The company isn’t alone in looking to its back catalogue for inspiration.

    Rival Toyota resurrected the 86 and Supra nameplates after lengthy absences, and the Celica nameplate has also been rumoured for a revival.

    The latter has been dormant almost as long as the Prelude nameplate, with the Honda’s onetime rival having exited production in 2006.

    Do you want to see the Prelude return? Let us know in the comments!

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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