1 Dec 1991
Honda significantly altered the Prelude’s look and attitude with the aggressively designed Mk4, swapping sporty elegance for a sharper sorts car feel.
Three models (base, Si and Si-SRS) shared two engines (base 96kW 2.2L single-cam 16-valve four-cylinder and 118kW 2.3L twin-cam 16-valve for Si and Si-SRS).
All offered cruise control, central locking, a sunroof and power windows, while the Si added sports seats and better audio, and – in the Si-SRS – a driver’s airbag.
A revised four-speed auto option and an all-new electronic 4WS system were other advances, while the reduced rear passenger space and the futuristic Tokyo skyline-inspired full-width instrumentation cowl were criticised as retrograde.
Still, the stronger body, lower centre of gravity and retuned double wishbone suspension enhanced handling and roadholding significantly – especially in the 4WS-fitted Si models – as well as comfort and refinement.
But coupe sales were sliding in the face of booming compact 4WD sales, reducing the reliance Honda had on its once-flagship 2+2 seater coupe.
In February ’94 a minor facelift, revised cabin trim and dash display, and a model reshuffle resulted in the base 96kW S, 118kW Si 4WS and new 142kW VTi-R.
The latter sported a 2.2L twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine with the efficiency enhancing VTEC variable valve timing device.