Honda Prelude VTI-R - Starter Classics $15K or less

By: Cliff Chambers, Photography by: Unique Cars Archives

honda prelude 1 honda prelude 1

Honda's Prelude VTi-R may have been a sleeper in looks, but was anything but on the road

Owners of earlier, conservative Preludes may not have been pleased when Honda transformed its classy coupe into something of a wild child, but Young Urban Professionals who bought the VTi-R were thrilled.

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It took until 1994 before the new, rounded Prelude acquired performance to match its looks, but with Variable Valve Timing and Honda’s love of high revs, the 2.2-litre delivered turbo-like punch, 142kW of power and impressive acceleration.

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Brand new, these cars cost $50,000 but enough survive to ensure they remain affordable. Manual transmission was mandatory in the VTi-R, but if you like the Gen. 4 shape and want an auto, Si versions with less power are available.


High revving, variable valve timing Honda donk

Cheap lubricants and extended service intervals helped wreak havoc on the complex valve train, so don’t buy a car that rattles when cold and won’t rev strongly to its 7500rpm redline.


From Unique Cars #472, Nov/Dec 2022

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