The Honda Prelude was a front wheel drive I4-engined coupe that was manufactured by Honda between 1978 and 2001. It spanned five generations of cars but was discont...More »
The Honda Prelude was a front wheel drive I4-engined 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, due to its decreasing sales and popularity.
The Prelude's perennial competitor has been the Toyota Celica, another I4-powered coupe introduced several years prior to the Prelude. Throughout the 1980s, it was challenged by the Nissan Silvia, Isuzu Impulse, Mitsubishi FTO, Mitsubishi Cordia (later the Eclipse), and the Mazda MX-6.
The fifth generation of the Honda Prelude saw enhancements over the fourth generation, including new body styling and handling characteristics. In 2001 the Prelude was discontinued.
The fifth-generation retained an FF layout with an independent front suspension. The vehicle utilized a 63/37 weight distribution. All fifth-generation Honda Preludes came with 16 inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season 205/50 R16 87V tires, except the Xi (14 inch steel wheels with full covers and 195/65 R14 89H tires) and Si (15 inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season 195/60 R15 88H tires.) on which aluminum alloy rims came as a dealer option. Unlike the USDM Preludes, JDM Preludes came with rear windshield wipers (except the Xi).
The fifth-generation Prelude marked a return to the body style of the late 1980s, or third generation, in an attempt to curb slumping sales of the fourth-generation body style. The fifth-generation was assembled and distributed to many parts of the world, including Japan, the UK, the US, and Germany, among others. All models and trims stayed within the BB-chassis code (BB5-BB9) and housed either the H-series engine or F-series motor. Models available to the Japanese market included: SiR (10.6), Xi (8.8), Si (9.2), SiR S-spec (11.0) and the Type S (11.0). The US received a Base model and Type SH. Canada received the Base model, SE, and Type SH. Europe received the 2.0i (9.5) and 2.2 VTi VTEC (10.0). Australia received the Si (10.0) and the VTi-R (10.0). All fifth gen. Preludes came with an H22A ( ) except: Xi (F22B), Si (F22B), 2.0i (F20A), Si (F22Z). BB5 was the Xi, and Si-2WS trim. BB6 was the SiR-2WS trim, SiR S-spec, Type S, Base model, Type SH, SE, 2.2 VTi VTEC-2WS trim. BB7 was the Si-4WS trim. BB8 was the SiR-4WS trim, and 2.2 VTi VTEC-4WS trim. All Preludes had a fuel tank capacity of 60 L (15.9 US gal).
One version of the fifth-generation Prelude, the Type S, was only available in Japan. It was equipped with the 2.2 L H22A, featuring VTEC and producing 220 PS (162 kW, 217 hp) @ 7200 rpm and 22.5 kgf·m (221 N·m, 163 lb·ft) @ 6500 rpm. With a compression ratio of 11.0:1, 87.0 mm bore x 90.7 mm stroke and the VTEC-valve timing, lift and duration were adjusted to 12.2 mm|11.2 mm (intake|exhaust). Honda also overhauled the air box and replaced it with a more efficient design that is often referred to as Dynamic Chambering, along with an increased throttle body design bored to 62 mm (as opposed to the previous 60 mm). The exhaust system also was treated to a redesign as well, where the pipe design became a more cylindrical shape rather an oval shape. The 3-way catalytic converter was also increased in size, as well as the exhaust piping from 50.8 mm (2.00 in) to 57 mm (2.25 in) (tToV). With the increased power output, the suspension was equally enhanced with 15 inch front ventilated discs and 14 inch rear discs. The fifth gen. curb weight was 1,310 kg (2,882 lb) and had a ground clearance of 0.14 m (5.5 in.). Unlike the SiR S-spec that had an LSD, the Type S acquired the technology from Honda that is known as the Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS) (other terms that may be seen elsewhere that may come up are: DYCS [direct yaw control system], active yaw control system, Active Electronic Limited Slip Differential [misnomer.]) The gearing on the Type S matches all other fifth-generation Preludes that had a manual transmission except for the 5-speed 2.2 VTi VTEC and had a FD: 4.266. The Type S had an Active Control ABS system, different from the others which had the standard ABS systems. The interior featured leather laced with red stitching. Manufacturer styling options including seat lettering. The exterior styling of fifth generation Preludes was standardized for most models. All had a sunroof except for the Type S model.
There was only one other car that housed the H-series, and it would be the last of its kind until the presentation of the K-series. The Accord Type R/Rx/Torneo (or the JDM version of the name more commonly known as the Honda Accord Euro R / Torneo Euro R) housed the last line of a more refined H-series motor, which lasted from around 1998 to 2002, until the exterior was revamped and the K-series was introduced.
The USDM fifth-generation Preludes also saw enhancements in the engine, with the full line now offering VTEC H22A4 engines, an evolution of the H22A1 with higher flowing heads, making 195 hp (198 PS, 143 kW) @ 7000 rpm and 156 lb·ft (21.8 kg·m, 212 N·m) @ 5250 rpm from 1997 to 1999, and the same torque readings with 200 hp (203 PS, 147 kW) @ 7000 rpm from 1999 to 2001 with a compression ratio of 10.0:1. The USDM fifth-generation had a Type SH ("Super-Handling") trim which featured the Active Torque Transfer System (ATTS), and, along with the 5-speed base model, shared the exact same gearing from the Type S and SiR-S spec trims in Japan (in which the Type SH transmission is the exact same as the Type S.) This system allowed Honda to overcome the limitations of front wheel drive somewhat, and in 1997, Car and Driver named the Prelude Type SH the "best-handling car under $30,000."
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