Honda has released the very first design sketch of the all-new Prologue electric SUV that's scheduled to launch in early 2024.
Described as an adventure-ready SUV capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways, the 2024 Prologue is the first Honda model designed primarily through virtual reality visualization technology. The vehicle was designed at Honda Design Studio in Los Angeles in collaboration with a Honda design team in Japan.
Honda says the Prologue features a long wheelbase, short overhangs and a "strong stance outfitted with a capable tire." It adds that the electric SUV's front fascia is inspired by that of the Honda e, although that's not immediately obvious at first sight.
According to the automaker, the clean and modern exterior styling of the Prologue will look comfortable in the same showroom with existing Honda SUVs. As expected when working on an EV, the design team focused on aerodynamics, adopting a simple surface direction for the body and fewer lines to improve range and reduce cabin noise.
Gallery: 2024 Honda Prologue Teaser And New Design For Honda Dealerships
"As the project leader for the exterior design of the Honda Prologue, it was very exciting to work with a young team of designers with new capabilities to create an SUV with clean, simple lines and a strong influence from our global EV models, including the Honda e. We balanced that with a neo-rugged look that you see in our current lineup to ensure Prologue represents a true Honda EV."
Jiro Ikeda, Exterior Design Leader
Unfortunately, Honda isn't yet ready to reveal much else about its first mass-market BEV in the US co-developed with GM, so we don't know whether it's a compact or midsize SUV. We'll also have to wait a bit longer for powertrain details and range estimates.
We do know that the 2024 Prologue will use GM's Ultium battery packs, so if it gets a 100-kWh pack like the Cadillac Lyriq, we should expect a range of around 300 miles. We tried to get more information on the Prologue from a company spokesman, but all we got was that the EV is "designed to match the functionality of other Honda SUVs with plenty of flexible cargo space, performance and functionality to meet the high expectations of our customers."
Ambitious EV sales targets, new dealership design focused on EVs
Along with the 2024 Prologue teaser sketch, Mamadou Diallo, American Honda Motor Auto Sales Vice President, shared new information about the automaker's electrified future in North America at a media roundtable InsideEVs attended last week.
He said that after the start of Honda Prologue sales in 2024, the company will begin production and sales of models based on its own EV-dedicated Honda e:Architecture from 2026. Then from 2027, Honda plans to start production and sales of a new series of affordable EVs, based on a new vehicle architecture co-developed with GM.
In these three phases, the Honda brand plans to sell 60,000 EVs in 2024 (down 10,000 on the initial Prologue sales target), 300,000 EVs in 2026, and nearly 500,000 EVs in North America by 2030. Interestingly, these estimates do not include Acura vehicles and are part of a broader goal to introduce 30 new EVs globally by 2030 with an annual volume of 2 million units.
Asked how many of the 30 new EV models are for North America, Diallo declined to say, adding it's too early to reveal that. As for where these US-bound models will be built, the sales boss said in North America, without providing more details.
"North American vehicles will be built in North America and that's what we're looking forward to."
Regarding the production location for the Prologue and its Acura counterpart, Diallo said that "at this point we have not disclosed this." GM plants would be logical choices given that both EVs are built on the Ultium platform.
To prepare for the EV offensive, the executive said Honda is working closely with its dealers to help them prepare to take care of electric car customers. The company shared renderings of a new dealership facility design providing dealers with a modular and flexible space. The automaker will provide guidelines on the number and type of EV charging stations dealers will be required to install based on their expected EV sales volume and regarding the types of special tools and equipment needed to service Honda electric vehicles.