The Honda Prelude trademark has been renewed, but it’s unclear what plans, if any, Honda has for the Prelude name.
Honda filed an application to renew the Prelude trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Aug. 15. The trademark filing covers “land vehicles, namely automobiles, and automotive structural parts.” There have been no rumors of possible production.
Launched in Japan in 1978, the Prelude was a sporty front-wheel-drive coupe that draped sleeker bodywork over the reliable mechanical components Honda was using to make a name for itself at the time. Like other Honda models, this made the Prelude a favorite of the tuner scene. A Prelude was even considered for 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” for the character Vince but was rejected in favor of a Nissan Maxima.
Production ended after the 2002 model year, bringing to a conclusion an impressive run that spanned five generations. While Honda never went as gadget crazy as some of its Japanese rivals during the 1980s and 1990s, it did introduced rear-wheel steering on the third-generation Prelude.
The Prelude name remains recognizable to car enthusiasts today, but that doesn’t mean Honda is planning to bring it back. Automakers periodically renew trademarks for past model names just to maintain control over them, as with the regular Ford Thunderbird and Toyota Celica trademark renewals.
A new Prelude might also invite confusion with the 2024 Honda Prologue, the electric SUV based on General Motor’s Ultium architecture that will kick off a Honda EV push when it arrives in showrooms next year. Both “Prelude” and “Prologue” denote forms of introduction, so it seems likely Honda will only use one of those names.
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