Honda Insight Hybrid, Take Two
It seems like the rumors were true. Honda's all new dedicated hybrid is going to be called 'Insight', and a concept version (shown above) will be introduced at the Paris Auto Show in October, with a final version going to market in the US during the Spring 2009. Because there isn't much time between the unveiling of the concept and the final version, we can safely guess that there won't be too many changes made to it (it will probably lose the fancy wheels and blue LEDs). In any case, it hasn't changed much since the spy shots we published a couple months ago.
Update: Honda's All-New Honda Insight Hybrid: Fuel Economy Similar to Civic Hybrid
What We Know About the New Honda Insight Hybrid
According to the official Honda release, "the all-new purpose-built Insight will come to market at a price significantly below hybrids available today." Word on the street on pricing hovers around $18,500-19,000, which would make it significantly cheaper than its main rival, the Toyota Prius.
As you can see in the pic above, the new Insight takes design cues from the FCX Clarity (shown in the middle). In the back is the Honda CRZ concept, which should also be released as a hybrid.
We also know that Honda will use a technology to "assist customers in achieving more fuel efficient driving habits". Could it be something similar to Nissan's ECO Pedal? Or could it be new ways to visually show fuel economy data on a LCD screen?
The New, Less Expensive IMA Hybrid Drivetrain
A good portion of the cost savings come from the new version of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system, which is what it has used in all its hybrids so far. In it, the electric motor is sandwiched between the gas engine and the transmission, acting as a oversized starter and as an assist traction motor. Unlike in hybrids like the Toyota Prius or Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda's hybrids cannot move on electric power alone, and that should stay the same for the Insight version 2.0.
The Insight is expected to have annual global sales of 200,000 units per year - approximately 100,000 in North America.
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