The Honda Prologue, at a glance.
The Honda Motor Company trails its main competitors in developing full-electric vehicles. With the market shifting to EVs, Honda finds itself behind the curve.
But thanks to a partnership with GM, this Japanese automaker will have its first fully electric model for the US market for the 2024 model year. Dubbed the Honda Prologue, this electrified SUV is roughly the size of the gas-powered Honda Passport. Honda claims the new model will have generous passenger space and cargo capacity.
First Look: Honda Prologue
This month, Honda previewed the all-new Prologue. The company says that a design team based in Los Angeles was responsible for leading the exterior and interior styling for the vehicle. On the other hand, the platform, battery system, and related drive components are supplied by GM. Furthermore, this model will be built by GM for Honda in the United States.
One of the styling aspects of the Prologue includes replacing the “H-Mark” badge typically fastened to the rear of the vehicle with the full Honda brand name. Moreover, the letters are stylized to “capture the modern and clean design of the Prologue.” Additionally, the Prologue will adopt the brand’s e: series name badging.
A look at the Prologue’s dimensions reveals a vehicle that is a midsize model. It will slot between the compact CR-V and the three-row Honda Pilot. Roughly the size of the Honda Passport, the Prologue sits on a 121.8-inch wheelbase and measures 192 inches long. This vehicle rides on 21-inch wheels, and is 78.3 inches wide and 64.7 inches tall.
Thus, Honda says the Prologue is 8 inches longer and 5 inches wider than the CR-V. This comparison is important as the CR-V is Honda’s best-selling utility vehicle and will offer a hybrid model this year. Therefore, winning new customers for this EV necessitates a model that goes beyond the CR-V.
“We are not going to wait until 2024 to attract EV buyers, because we see a natural progression for a CR-V customer to Prologue with its slightly larger size, larger interior and capable handling,” said Gary Robinson, vice president, automobile planning and strategy at American Honda. “We will support that transition now by putting smart strategies in place with the CR-V hybrid, that will enable our customers to transition to an EV.”
Notably, Honda’s research shows that hybrid shoppers are more likely to make the transition to full electric. When the CR-V Hybrid arrives this fall, Honda intends to offer a shorter two-year lease, expecting some customers will transition to the Prologue at the end of their lease term. Honda plans to increase the CR-V’s model mix to 50 percent hybrid to help ease the transition.
Honda did not share many details about the Prologue’s interior. We assume that this SUV will seat five and offer comparable cargo space for the segment.
On the tech front, the Prologue will feature an 11-inch digital driver display and an 11.3-inch center console display.
Following the Prologue’s introduction in 2024, Honda will begin selling vehicles based on its Honda e:Architecture in 2026. These models will be produced by Honda in North America. During the subsequent year, sales of new EVs co-developed with GM will go on sale. Unlike the Prologue, these models will be built by Honda in North America.
Will Honda succeed as it begins to pivot to full electrification? We believe that this automaker will rise to the challenge as it uses a multi-prong approach to get there. This approach includes its partnership with GM, a lithium-ion joint venture involving Acura and Honda models, and internally developing models designed in-house.
The question, though, is whether consumers are ready to switch. And if they are, will the models be available and affordable?
See Also — Improved Honda CR-V Pushes Hybrids
Photos copyright American Honda Motor Co., Inc. All rights reserved.