New Honda hybrid to be an affordable, family car
4 September 2008

This is the all-new Honda Insight, a more affordable hybrid family car concept that will make its debut at the Paris motor show in October and take the fight directly to Toyota’s Prius. The finished Insight goes on sale in the spring of next year, but this five-door, five-seat concept model is said to be close to production-ready. It revives the Insight badge, which was first used on Honda’s first hybrid in 1999, a groundbreaking car that was a sales disaster. >> See more pictures of the new Honda InsightThe new Insight is certain to be more successful than its predecessor. Honda officials have confirmed that it will be priced “significantly lower” than any other hybrid car on the market. Prices are estimated to start at around £15,000, meaning that the Insight should appeal to those who have been unwilling to pay the premium for the £18,000 Toyota Prius. As a result Honda believes it can attain massive global sales of 200,000 units per year with this model. Takeo Fukui, president of Honda, said he believes the new Insight will ”break new ground by providing an affordable hybrid to an expanded number of customers craving great fuel economy and great value”. Some of the styling touches are shared with the hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCX Clarity, but the Insight uses a new and improved version of Honda’s IMA hybrid drive. This is likely to mate a revised version of the 113bhp, 1.4-litre iVTEC engine with an ultra-efficient hybrid powertrain. We should expect CO2 emissions of around 80g/km and fuel economy in excess of 80mpg. The new Insight won’t use more modern lithium-ion batteries though, because Honda still has major doubts about their reliability and safety. But using more conventional nickel metal hydride units will help cut costs. Up until now, Honda’s hybrid strategy had been to fit hybrid systems to normal production models.But the Insight is the first in a family of bespoke hybrids. It’s based on a new platform, which the sportier CR-Z – previewed in concept form at the 2007 Tokyo motor show – is likely to share. Within the next three years, an incredibly efficient Jazz hybrid is also likely to be launched. Unsurprisingly, 50 per cent of the new Insight's sales are expected to be in America, but this will also be a vital big-selling car for Honda UK when it arrives early next year.

Will Powell

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Comments
9

4 September 2008

I love it - and I'm glad they've revived the Insight name. I really hope the interior is just as futuristic as the FCX Clarity too.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

4 September 2008

Awesome, I hope it achieves those figures at that price. If it has the flip up seats of the Jazz in the back think I will get one. 80mpg from a petrol car or 6p per mile in fuel.

5 September 2008

[quote Autocar]Up until now, Honda's hybrid strategy had been to fit hybrid systems to normal production models.[/quote] Perhaps you can explain how I can purchase a non-hybrid version of the original Insight then?

5 September 2008

Why aren't more manufacturers turning towards a diesel/electric hybrid rather than petrol/electric? Current diesel technology is more efficient and pumps out less CO2 so I don't understand this; unless there is a technical incompatibility?

Pump prices for diesel are higher but it's not stopping the public from purchasing diesels...

5 September 2008

[quote Greg1]

Why aren't more manufacturers turning towards a diesel/electric hybrid rather than petrol/electric? Current diesel technology is more efficient and pumps out less CO2 so I don't understand this; unless there is a technical incompatibility?

[/quote]

Unfortunately it is the influence of our cousins across the pond again. To make production of a vehicle like this viable, it has to be sold in the States, where diesel for what ever reason (someone did another post about this), can / isn't used.

May be when we see sales the volumes of the vehicles increase in Europe, there could be a case for producing a diesel version, but until then we will continue to see petrol versions.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

8 September 2008

Thanks for the info TegTypeR.

14 October 2008

Where did you get the fuel consumption figures? I haven't seen any official Honda figures as yet, only guesses that include numbers a lot different from yours.

4 December 2008

4 April 2014
i am glad we own his other marques... namely Jaguar

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