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Honda Prelude G1 1978-82
 

On November 24, 1978, the Honda Prelude was launched. In Japan it was only available at the newly established dealership sales channel Honda Verno. This dealership chain also introduced the entry-level Honda Quint, the Honda Ballade, and the Accord-based Honda Vigor as its largest sedan and hatchback. The four-wheel independent struts, brakes, engine were all borrowed from the first generation Accord, but the chassis was all new and developed by chief engineer Hiroshi Kizawa expressly for the sporting Prelude. At 4,090 mm (length ) x 1,635 mm (width) x 1290 mm (height), it had quite a low and wide profile. The wheelbase was 2,320 mm, and was 60 mm shorter than that of the original Accord.  The Prelude (and period Accord) were the first cars under two litres to receive standard power steering.

The Prelude was the first Honda model to offer a power moonroof as standard equipment, which eventually became a Prelude trademark.

The standard engine at the time of introduction was the "EL" SOHC eight-valve 1,602 cc inline four rated at 80 PS. It remained the only engine available for most markets, aside from the US and Japan. It featured a non-automatic choke with three positions and a two-barrel carburettor. In September 1978 the larger "EK" SOHC 12-valve 1,750 cc CVCC inline-four was introduced in Japan, rated at 90 PS. Automatics had five less horsepower. It took until March 1979 for the Prelude to appear in the United States.

1980 saw the introduction of the CVCC-II engine which employed the use of a catalytic converter and several other refinements that improved driveability, the Prelude also received a mild facelift in 1981. Transmission choices were either the standard five-speed manual or initially a two-speed "Hondamatic" semi-automatic, which by October 1979 had been replaced by a three-speed automatic that used the final gear as the overdrive. In addition to the standard fabrics offered in most models, an 'Executive' option was offered in some markets which added power steering and Connolly leather upholstery. Honda used a single central gauge cluster design in this car which housed the speedometer and tachometer in one combined unit where both instrument's needles swept along the same arc. They also placed the compact AM/FM radio unit up high next to the gauge cluster. The Prelude featured intermittent wipers, tinted glass, and a remote trunk release. 

 
 

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