A key Honda official has rejected claims the firm has tried to mimic the design of the Toyota Prius with its Insight.
New versions of both hybrid cars have recently gone on sale and, in Japan, the Insight has been criticised for its design similarities to the Prius.
“We don't think it looks like the Prius at all,” said Nobuki Ebisawa, managing director at Honda R&D. “There may be some similarities in the roof line, but it is clearly different.”
Ebisawa claims the Insight bares more similarities to Honda’s fuel-cell Clarity and the CRX, rather than the Prius.
He said considerations for maximizing aerodynamics and placing the hybrid system of electric motor and petrol engine may make for similar styling in hybrids, but added the design approach at Honda has roots in the origins of the company, which he called “design DNA”.
In July, Toyota sold 27,712 Prius cars in Japan while Honda sold 10,210 of the Insight.