The Honda Prelude, Honda's highly successful two-door coupe, first appeared on the scene for the 1979 model year and slotted right the lineup where the S800 used to be. For over twenty years, the Prelude went head-to-head with the Toyota Celica, as the two coupes seemed to duel over bragging rights both in the US and abroad. When it debuted, the Honda Prelude was outfitted with a 1.8L inline four-cylinder SOHC engine capable of 75 horsepower and mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission with a three-speed automatic available as an option. In 1981, the engine was upgraded with a new catalytic converter. Second-generation versions of the Prelude were released in 1983. This time around it was equipped with a 1.8L 12-valve fuel-injection engine that produced up to 110 horsepower. Also new for this generation were such parts as pop-up headlights and painted steel wheels.
1988 welcomed in the third generation of the Honda Prelude. This time around, the Prelude showed off new exterior accessories and a bevy of other changes ti the Honda Prelude parts, including four-wheel steering on several versions of the model. The engine was once again updated, this time to a 2.0L inline four-cylinder SOHC configuration with a 12-valve sidedraft carburetor capable of approximately 104 horsepower and 111 pounds-per-foot of torque. For the 2.0 Si, horsepower was kicked up to 135. Engines were directed through either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Honda unveiled the fourth generation of the Prelude in 1992. The base S showed off a 2.2L SOHC engine (135 hp) while the VTEC setup made its debut for the Prelude in other variants, offering a hefty kick with 187 horsepower and 153 pounds-per-foot of torque. Pop-up headlights were discontinued in the model and were instead replaced with sleeker, angular headlamps while a steel sliding sunroof could also be had.
The fifth generation of the Honda Prelude was introduced for 1997. A slew of engine options were available, with the US offering the 197 horsepower VTEC configuration. New 16" alloy wheels were included in most packages. As for the car's exterior and accessories, the body-shape was vaguely reminiscent of the third-generation design, although it showed off a sleeker and overall more aerodynamic look. Coming into the 2001 model year, Honda decided to discontinue the Prelude from the lineup. Although it is no longer assembled, the Prelude has gone to remain a popular car for performance enthusiasts, as it has enjoyed a revival in the aftermarket industry. During its time on the road, the Honda Prelude received numerous awards, including being named to Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best List (1984, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998), a Consumer Guide Best Buy (1998, 1999, 2000), and the Best Coupe by Automobile Magazine (1999).
One of the premier rides for getting your own style involved is of course, the Honda Prelude. Seen by many as the ultimate customizing canvas, the Prelude enjoys a stellar reputation as being both a performance machine and efficient street-model. The sleek exterior catches your gaze as it breezes by. Engaging, menacing, and tastefully modern, the Prelude has instilled its own legacy for this generation's automotive culture. When it is taken care of the right way and dressed to impress, not many others can rival what the Prelude is still capable of. Period.
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