Overnight Honda unveiled most of the new vehicle concepts it will display at next month’s Japan Mobility Show, the successor the long-running Tokyo motor show, but there’s one the automaker is keeping up its sleeve: the Speciality Sports Concept.
Presumably it will be the most exciting car at Honda’s display at the show, so the automaker is being vague about it right now.
In a statement overnight, Honda said the concept would “enable the driver to experience the pure joy of driving… even in the era of electrification for carbon neutrality and the popularisation of automated driving technology”.
Somehow it will also allow drivers to “transcend the constraints of time”.
No-one outside of Honda knows for certain what type of sporty EV the automaker is planning, but there are two likely possibilities.
The first is a revival of the Prelude. The biggest clue in this direction is a filing made by Honda with the US Patent and Trademark Office in August for the use of the Prelude nameplate.
Over five generations from 1978 to 2001, the Prelude name was employed on a series of sporty front-wheel drive coupes. All featured zingy four-cylinder engines hooked up to sweet-shifting manual transmissions, although automatic options were also available.
If Honda decides to go down the retro styling route for the Specialty Sports Concept, it couldn’t do much wrong by copying the fourth-generation (1991 to 1996) car featured throughout this article.
The other obvious option is a preview of a third-generation NSX.
At the launch of the second-generation NSX’s swan song Type S variant, Jon Ikeda, head of Acura, said: “The first-gen was gas. Second-gen was a hybrid. There’s gonna be another one.”
He noted Honda likes to “make an NSX when there’s something we want to say”. Given the company is process of launching new EVs for the US based on GM’s Ultium architecture, as well as its own dedicated EV architecture, it’s possible Honda feels like it has something to say right now.
The second-generation NSX was discontinued globally in 2022, and featured a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 mounted mid-ship paired to two electric motors at the front, one at the rear, and a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Which one do you think it will be? A new Prelude or NSX, or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments section below.
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