2024 Honda Prologue Sketch Unveils First New GM-Based Electric Crossover
Honda will catch up on all-electric vehicles; the first offering isn’t expected until 2024. To keep our interest in the meantime, the automaker has released a sketch of the exterior of the Honda Prologue electric midsize SUV that will drive its electric charge. The Prologue was developed with General Motors and will use the same BEV3 EV architecture as the similarly sized 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, as well as Buick and Chevy EVs in the midsize crossover segment. The Prologue will also use GM’s Ultium battery management system and will be manufactured in a GM factory.
But the top hat is 100% Honda, designed and developed at the Honda Design Studio in Los Angeles, in conjunction with the design team in Japan. From the sketch, we see the look is sleek, clean and simple, with flush door handles to help with aerodynamics. The crossover has a long wheelbase, short overhang and planted stance to suggest capability.
Honda executives say the front fascia is inspired by the adorable Honda e, a small electric vehicle not available in North America, but any resemblance is faint. The Prologue has a traditional look, unlike some of the matrix designs and dynamic LED lighting strips sported by some newer EVs. The idea was to make the Prologue look a bit rugged and fit in with conventional Honda showroom SUVs.
Prologue Part of Honda’s trio of midsize SUVs
The Prologue joins the three-row Honda Pilot and the smaller two-row Honda Passport as a trio of midsize SUVs offering three distinct choices, said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of automotive sales for American Honda Motor Company.
Honda has sold over 143,000 Drivers and over 53,000 Passports in the United States in 2021. The automaker plans to sell 60,000 Prologues in North America in 2024 and increase that number to 70,000 units in 2025. Sales of Honda electric vehicles are expected to reach nearly 300,000 sales in North America. in 2026 and climb to half a million by 2030, and Honda has announced that it will introduce 30 new EV models globally by 2030, when it will produce 2 million EVs per year. The Acura brand, which is also expected to get a GM-based crossover model, will lead the automaker’s electrification business.
Rollout of the 2024 Honda Prologue
The first foray is the Prologue, followed shortly by a luxury electric performance SUV for Acura, co-developed with GM. Sales will begin in California and the roughly 15 other zero-emission vehicle states expected to be in place by 2027, as well as select non-ZEV states such as Florida and Texas before rolling out, strategically, across the country. The charging infrastructure project has not yet been unveiled; Honda says it is working with dealerships on the number and type of charging stations dealerships will need to support sales, as well as tools and equipment for servicing electric vehicles.
Dealers will be offered a new, smaller footprint facility design that reflects the need to hold less inventory in the future. It provides a more flexible space for a future with expanded digital retail, offsite delivery, and the need for less service area with electric vehicles. The new look is voluntary, not a mandate for dealers to adopt.
Step Two: Honda e-Architecture Vehicles
The Prologue crossover and Acura EV are the first step in Honda’s electrification plan. They will be followed by a family of vehicles that Honda will develop and build in North America based on Honda’s new internal e-Architecture. The first of these vehicles is planned for 2026. They are all Hondas, not GM platforms or Ultiums, and the e-Architecture will be used by the Honda and Acura brands. Honda said it was also clear that it would have to manufacture its own batteries in the future.
We can expect a mix of new nameplates, like Prologue, as well as battery-electric versions of the current lineup of familiar Honda models. Diallo says none of the existing models have been ruled out to go EV, which means we might be able to look forward to a Ridgeline electric pickup truck from Honda in the future. And Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe says there are two electrified sports cars in the mix, but Diallo won’t confirm if one of them is the NSX.
Third step: small affordable electric vehicles developed with GM
The third phase is the 2027 launch of the first in a new series of affordable electric compact crossovers based on a new vehicle architecture co-developed with GM and based on Ultium. It is a collaboration between the two car manufacturers to reduce the cost of electrification and allow more customers to own an electric vehicle.
Yes, Honda will be late to the all-EV party. In the meantime, Honda plans to put plenty of hybrids on the road with electric motors added to three high-volume vehicles. There will be a new CR-V hybrid this year and a new Honda Accord hybrid next year. A Civic hybrid is also in the works, and the HR-V is also a hybrid. Diallo expects hybrids to grow to account for half of total sales, and those buyers will be among Honda’s first BEV customers.
As for regular combustion engine vehicles, Honda has introduced a new Pilot and HR-V, while Acura will begin selling the new Integra next month, a “gateway vehicle” to attract new customers to the brand. Integra’s first months of production are already sold out, says Diallo. Most of them were ordered with the six-speed manual transmission. Honda, like most of the industry struggling with supply shortages, including the shortage of semiconductor chips, continues to experience historically low inventories. Diallo expects the single-digit day supply to continue until next year. More than half of CR-Vs and Civics are sold before they hit the market, he said.