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Honda Insight: Detroit Bound

Motoring Channel Staff - 5/December/2008

Honda Insight
Honda Insight

Honda Insight
The Honda Insight Concept was first
shown at the 2008 Paris Motor Show

Tokyo, Japan — If the recent spike in petrol prices didn't convince car makers to try new things and increase spending on super low emission vehicles early in 2008, the current financial crisis could be considered round two.

Honda is hoping to stymie tumbling car sales in North America and in other crucial markets by releasing the Honda Insight Hybrid at a price that undercuts the Toyota Prius, which is currently the world's most recognisable green car.

Honda insiders say the new model will be priced at around US$19,000 which undercuts the Toyota Prius by $3,000. 

But don't expect Toyota to take this lying down. It could also reveal a few surprises for the Prius Hybrid.

The Japanese marque will unveil the production version of the Insight Hybrid at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2009, where it will release details on the hybrid system detailing how efficient the vehicle is, along with the price.

The new Honda Insight Hybrid is a 5-seater, 5-door hybrid that will go on sale in the first half of 2009 in America, Europe and Japan, and is expected to arrive in Australia in 2010.

According to Honda, this new photo is the first image of the US production version of the Insight Hybrid, which was first shown as a concept car at Paris in October 2008.

Early reports say the vehicle will be more efficient than the Toyota Prius because it uses more advanced technology and battery systems, and could be capable of using just 3.5 litres of fuel per 100km (67mpg) or 3.5L/100km on the highway cycle.

It has also revealed the Insight Hybrid will have another method besides its petrol-electric engine to improve fuel economy. 

The new hybrid will "utilise a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology named the Ecological Drive Assist System" reads the media statement. 

"The new feedback system gives the driver real time information about their driving performance, to help them reduce their fuel consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions" it continues.

This system will most likely encourage owners to drive smoothly, to not to accelerate uphill and suggest other techniques to reduce fuel consumption.

The Honda Insight Hybrid is expected to use around 5.8L/100km (40mpg) on the city cycle, which is still remarkably frugal.

Honda predicts annual global sales of 200,000 Insight Hybrids.

Related Links:
Honda FC Sport (2008)
Honda City (2009)
Honda Life Mugen (2008)
Honda Jazz (Road Test)
Honda Civic Hybrid (Road Test)
Honda Insight Concept (2008)
- Honda Civic Type R (Road Test)
- Honda CR-V (Road Test)
Honda Accord Euro (2008)
Honda Accord V6 (Road Test)
Honda OSM Concept (2008)
- Honda Accord Euro (Road Test)
- Mugen Honda Civic Type-RR (2008)
- Honda Civic Type R - sedan (2007)
Honda Legend (Road Test)

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