Honda has not been at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution in the United States. We've seen tentative efforts, like the Fit EV and Clarity Electric — but Honda also kept its World Car of the Year candidate Honda E hatchback out of America, and recent reporting suggests Honda may task GM with building its first full-fledged EV offerings in the United States.
That said.. it seems Honda's reticence in the American EV market could be about to change in dramatic fashion.
As CarBuzz recently uncovered, Honda filed a trademark application in the U.S. for the name "Prologue" for use with a land vehicle — specifically, a battery electric vehicle. A prologue is the introductory section of a literary work, which would be a fitting name for Honda's first full-throated American EV. It's also, notably, a synonym for "Prelude," the name of Honda's iconic sports coupe from the 1980s and 1990s.
Does this mean Honda could have an electric successor to the Prelude coming? Well, it's not as crazy as one would think.
Honda famously unveiled its Urban EV concept — which became the production Honda E — in 2017. But that same year, Honda also showed off a Sports EV Concept, a two-door sports car intended to run on the same platform. (That's what's pictured at the top of the story here.)
The Honda E's powertrain seems well-suited for a tiny sports coupe, as it's rear-wheel-drive and torque-laden, making 152 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. Add a bit more battery capacity than the Honda E's 35.5-kWh for more oomph and range, and a Honda Prologue sports car could look very interesting.
Of course, launching your EV gambit with a small sports coupe in 2021 would be sheer madness. It's an oversaturated segment with a diminishing audience, so coming in with an electric or electrified option would be risky. No manufacturer would be more painfully aware of that than Honda, which sold just 17 Acura NSX hybrids in Q1 2021.
If we were betting, we'd guess the Prologue would be a more mundane CR-V-style crossover for the new era than a small, affordable electric sports coupe. But we can always dream.