Honda Insight

Honda recently unveiled “Insight” the company’s concept hybrid vehicle, at the 2008 Paris International Auto Show. The much anticipated Insight is a small, five-passenger vehicle meant to bring hybrid solutions to mainstream consumers and as Honda claims it will be more affordable than other cars in this category currently available on the market. Insight is set to go on sale in the spring of 2009.




Honda Insight was a 2-seat subcompact car first introduced in December 1999 as America’s first gas-electric hybrid car and the first vehicle to break the 70-mpg fuel economy barrier. “The original Honda Insight pioneered hybrid technology in the U.S. and remains a symbol of Honda’s commitment to innovative technology and fuel efficiency,” said Takeo Fukui, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. CEO. “This new Insight will break new ground as an affordable hybrid within the reach of customers who want great fuel economy and great value.”

Much of the new Honda Insight’s design is borrowed from Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle. It is designed aerodynamically with a low center of gravity and has five-door access. The new hybrid will be more cost-efficient than the Honda Civic hybrid for example, as Honda cut much of the cost by creating another version of their Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology, by reducing the component’s cost. Insight is expected to sell for less than both the Honda Civic hybrid and Toyota Prius.

Insight is equipped with a lightweight and compact 1.3-liter engine. “We created a newly developed platform with the control unit and battery under the cargo space,” said Takeo Fukui, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., LTD, “This new Insight represents the further advance of our concept of offering a hybrid for everyone. We have further reduced the weight and size of the hybrid system. And we have improved and strengthened our production system to further reduce the cost of our hybrid system.”

Next, Honda is planning on introducing another unique sporty hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z, first shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. Video of the new Honda Insight concept can be watched here.

TFOT recently covered the production version of the 2010 Chevrolet Volt. Unlike many other hybrid cars, the Chevy Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds, thus creating a new class of vehicles dubbed Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV). TFOT also reported on several electric vehicles, including the Tesla Roadster, a fully electric sports car capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds, TH!NK Ox – a five-seater, fully electric car capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/hr in less than 8.5 seconds, and Milner Motors’ 4-door, 4-seat, 4-wheel, plug-in hybrid ElectriCar.

More information on the Honda Insight can be found at the official press release.