Many of the most exciting products at this year’s Japan Mobility Show (JMS) may have just been concepts, but concepts are often a good indication of where the market is heading or, at least, where manufacturers would like to see their brand in the coming years. That’s the case with the Honda Prelude Concept, making waves as a sleek and modern return for this revered nameplate.

It should be noted right off the top that exact details regarding powertrain, performance specs and anything of the sort are yet to be disclosed. Bummer, but what we do know is that the Prelude is set for the “full-fledged electrified future,” as Honda’s Director, President and Representative Toshihiro Mibe put it during the brand’s press conference at the JMS. Note the phrase “electrified,” not “full-” or “all-electric,” leading us to believe a hybrid setup is in the works.

Mibe reflected back on a business briefing held last year in which five future sports models were referenced. As it turns out, the Prelude Concept is one of them. Its namesake sees a fitting return as this model will “become the prelude for our future models which will inherit the “joy of driving”… and embody Honda’s unalterable sports mindset,” said Mibe.

Honda Prelude Concept to Arrive at LA Auto Show 1

The Prelude is a 2+2 in design, so you can put the kids in back or coax your friends into squeezing into the second row when the time calls for it. We use words like “sleek” and “modern” a whole bunch, but this one really embodies that with smooth lines accented by thin LED lighting elements, including a singular light bar that stretches along the leading edge.

Just based on looks, the Prelude seems to contend with the likes of Toyota’s GR86 and Subaru’s BRZ; however, one thing left to mystery is the drive layout. You may or may not know this, but Honda’s original Preludes, while two-door coupe in form, were always front-wheel drive. You may or may not also know that the aforementioned would-be competitors are rear-wheel drive. On one hand, an FF coupe (front-engine, front-wheel drive) design would offer something different while retaining the original’s spirit; on the other hand, however, why shouldn’t the Prelude exist as Honda’s FR entry? After all, the latest Civic Type R is already a prime example of what Honda can currently do with an FF– and boy, is it awesome.

As time goes on, we hope Honda will give us more details surrounding the Prelude Concept, including news regarding a final production model. Stay tuned for our coverage!