31 October 2003

Amazing as is may seem, the new hybrid Honda will be virtually unchanged from this IMAS concept (above) when it goes on sale just two years from now.

The four-seat show car started life as a production car, before switching to a concept midway through the design cycle. Although the interior will lose futuristic instrumentation and seating, the exterior will remain largely untouched.

Despite losing money on all 700 Insights sold in the UK, Honda is predicting a price of around £15,500 for the new car. It will weigh around 700kg, with slippery bodywork recording a drag co-efficient of just 0.20Cd, helped by covered rear wheels.

Power comes from the same petrol-electric motor as the first Insight, and emissions, top speed, acceleration and fuel consumption are all improved, although Honda will not reveal by how much until nearer the launch date.

Meanwhile, worldwide chief executive Takeo Fukui reportedly boasted that quality at Honda’s Swindon factory was greater than that in Japan.

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