It’s truly the wild west of vehicle electrification across the market right now as practically every automaker not named Tesla is rushing in and trying to grab a slice of the action. There has been some chaos in the deluge. Take the upcoming 2024 Honda Prologue electric SUV, for example, which the Japanese automaker is co-developing with U.S. competitor General Motors for use of its Ultium platform and batteries. A Honda-GM mashup? Really. The recently introduced all-new Chevy Blazer electric SUV, as well as a planned Acura model coming in the next couple of years, will all have a lot in common. But it’s the Prologue’s moment now, as Honda reveals a new design language for the tip of its all-electric North American lineup.
Don’t Call It a Passport… Or a Blazer
The midsize Passport SUV remains combustion powered for the near future, and it isn’t going anywhere. We say so because the Honda Prologue is also a midsize SUV, albeit an electric one, to offer customers choice. Compared to that other midsize Honda SUV, the Prologue’s wheelbase stretches 10.8 inches longer—to a super-long 121.8 inches—and overall its footprint is 2.9 inches longer and 0.3 inch narrower, while the roof sits a big-time 6.9-7.5 inches lower (front- and all-wheel-drive Passports are different heights). Honda is promising a “spacious interior,” which the expanded wheelbase should afford. Power and related specs are mum for the moment with updates promised “soon,” but the images do confirm it will be available with all-wheel drive.
The Prologue was “co-developed” with General Motors in a bid by Honda to cut down development time and get more EVs on the market sooner. Beyond that, Honda has announced a plan for 30 new EVs to be introduced by 2030 targeting global sales volume of 2 million units, and it will fully switch over to zero-emission sales only by 2040. The automaker plans to begin sales of new vehicles built on its in-house e:Architecture EV platform in 2026, with a lineup of more “affordable” EVs co-developed with GM planned for 2027. Honda also announced a new lithium-ion battery production facility in North America, a smart play considering the federal government’s recent Infrastructure Relief Act that incentivizes domestic U.S. sourcing and production of EVs and their resource requirements.
Honda specifies that a young team of talented Los Angeles designers were assigned the Prologue EV project, who apparently have coined a new term to describe their design approach for the vehicle: “neo-rugged.” For Honda, that translates to a very smooth, undecorated body with fairly squared-off proportions and simple details. Designers were inspired by the global Honda e compact EV design for the broad approach, now stretched and reinterpreted over a midsize SUV package. Honda says it’s capable of adventures “inside and outside the city limits,” and its fairly low ride height means it probably won’t be much of an off-roader beyond fire trails, gravel, or snow and sand, we imagine.
Inside, the Prologue has some vaguely GM-style switchgear—check the gloss-black climate control buttons and the lock switches around the door handles—but overall there isn’t much that smacks of anyone other than Honda having designed this cabin. For example, unlike the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV, the Prologue separates its gauge cluster screen and central touchscreen, with both jutting out of the dashboard like tombstones, much like Honda’s current practice (at least for central displays) in its newest models, including the Civic, HR-V, and CR-V. Even in the photo above, it appears as though the Honda uses bespoke onscreen graphics and animations, not recycled GM stuff, though someone at Honda has intriguingly blurred out the left-side gauge pod behind the steering wheel, likely to keep some battery, range, or other revealing trip information under wraps until it’s ready for prime time.
Natural beauty was a big inspiration for the team, which incorporated a large panoramic glass roof into the design for natural light, and the Prologue introduces a new North Shore Pearl paint color inspired by the “natural beauty and colors near Lake Tahoe in California.” The interior charcoal and light gray interior colorway was inspired by “fresh fallen snow on the mountains.” The Prologue will spell out “Honda” in the center of the light bar in a new typeface for its rear badging, instead of adorning a simple “H.” It’s joined by Honda’s new “e:” branded badge above the “AWD” label on the tailgate.
Special Lease Offer on a… CR-V?
Honda also has announced that it plans to encourage the sale of its electrified CR-V and future Accord and Civic hybrids. Company research has shown that “hybrid-electric customers are among the first to move into full-electric products.” If Honda can get more people in its hybrids today, then it seems more likely buyers will eventually adopt a fully electric vehicle from Honda in the future, like at the end of their lease term.
The Prologue is planned to go on sale within two years in 2024, so any short new leases signed today will begin to expire. With that in mind, Honda has announced a new special short-term two-year leasing offer on the hybrid CR-V model “in ZEV states” when it goes on sale this fall. Although Honda doesn’t detail which states specifically, ZEV states are generally considered to include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, and sometimes Washington, D.C.
Those interested in updates about the Prologue’s development and imminent rollout can sign up for updates on Honda’s website.