Honda’s first-generation Prelude was a decent little car but the 1978 model was soon branded by enthusiasts as being a bit too small and a bit too quirky. It was still very popular but it wasn’t exactly fun to drive but the second-gen arrived in late 1982 to change that reputation and it did so in a big way.
In fact, the new front-wheel drive coupe would go on to become the benchmark of Eighties sportscars and was hotter than the Toyota Celica and Volkswagen Scirocco.
It was bigger, had more power and was more sophisticated than its predecessor and it offered more flamboyant styling too. Designer Masahito Nakano was credited for its crisp new look (he would later go on to pen the ground breaking NSX...) with the retractable headlights proving very popular. Featuring a low cowl and beltline along with the large greenhouse (influenced by the Accord) it was both sporty looking yet quite practical too.
Power came from a new SOHC 12-valve, 1.8-litre four-cylinder (it could be hooked to either a four-speed auto or five-speed manual) while also new was a racing-inspired double wishbone front suspension and a MacPherson strut independent rear to give it very good handling — but 1985’s 2.0 Si was the one to have.
With standard body-colour bumpers, front and rear spoilers, multi-spoke 13in alloys, new-design leather-wrapped steering wheel, AC, cruise control, power windows and mirrors and adjustable-lumbar driver’s seat, it had it all but its biggest draw was its four-wheel steering system and 140bhp over-bored 2.0-litre motor with Honda’s F1-derived multi-point sequential Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) replacing the carburettor. You can pick these beauties up for just Dh20,000 today.