Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Body Styles:||2-door coupe|
|Successors:||Acura RSX, Honda S2000|
|Shares components with:||Honda Accord|
|Similar models:||Toyota Celica|
|This article is part of the automobile series.|
The Honda Prelude is a front wheel drive four-cylinder coupe that was manufactured by Honda between 1978 and 2001. It spanned five generations of cars but was discontinued upon the release of the fourth-generation Honda Integra in Japan in late 2001.
The Prelude's perennial competitor has been the Toyota Celica, another four-cylinder coupe introduced several years prior to the Prelude. Throughout the 1980s, which was known as the decade of inexpensive sports cars, it was challenged by the Nissan Silvia (180/240SX), Isuzu Gemini/Piazza /Impulse, Mitsubishi Cordia (later Eclipse), Mazda MX-6, and its cousin, the Honda-built Acura Integra.
The second generation Prelude was released in 1982 and was initially available with a 12-valve dual carburetor engine, and fuel injection was introduced in 1985. In Japan and Asia, it was available with a DOHC 16 valve PGM-FI engine.
The third generation Prelude was built upon the success of the second generation, however it gained 4 wheel steering (on some models), as well as a 2 liter SOHC carburetor engine or a DOHC EFI engine, which was increased to a 2.1 liter engine with the second series in 1990 and 1991. The Prelude was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1987.
In 1992, there was a major overhaul of the Prelude. The four-wheel steering system was changed to an electronic version and the engine was increased in size from 2.1 liters to 2.2 for the base "S" model and "VTEC" model, with 2.3 liters for the "Si".
The fifth and final generation of Prelude saw enhancements from the forth generation and in 2001 the Prelude was discontinued.
The fifth generation Prelude marked a return to the body style of the late 1980's preludes, specifically the third generation in an attempt to curb slumping sales of the 4th generation body style. The 5th Generation had an SH version or "Super-Handling" which feautured an Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS). This system allowed Honda to overcome the front wheel drive limitation somewhat, and in 1997 Car and Driver named the Prelude SH the "best-handling car under $30,000."
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