|The Honda Insight Concept.|
Honda will reveal a concept version of its new small hybrid vehicle, to be named Insight, at the upcoming 2008 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Automobile) in October. The new Insight Concept shares styling cues with the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle and will provide an early look at the highly-anticipated five-passenger hybrid vehicle.
The original Honda Insight was introduced in December 1999 as the US’ first gasoline-electric hybrid car. The first vehicle to break the 70-mpg fuel economy barrier, Insight, since cancelled, was designed from the ground up to demonstrate the potential for fuel-economy in a two-seater subcompact automobile.
Targeted for sale in the US next spring, the all-new purpose-built Insight will come to market at a price significantly below hybrids available today, according to Honda.
The original Honda Insight pioneered hybrid technology in the US and remains a symbol of Honda’s commitment to innovative technology and fuel efficiency. This new Insight will break new ground as an affordable hybrid within the reach of customers who want great fuel economy and great value.—Takeo Fukui, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. CEO
The Insight Concept uses a more cost-efficient version of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology. The Insight Concept is designed with a low center of gravity and a generous five-passenger cabin.
The production Insight will be offered as a five-door, five-passenger hatchback. Numerous technologies, including a function to assist customers in achieving more fuel efficient driving habits, will be applied to achieve a further improvement in real world fuel efficiency, said Honda. Along with the Civic Hybrid, the new vehicle will be produced at an expanded hybrid vehicle production line at the Suzuka factory in Japan.
Honda expects the Insight to have annual global sales of 200,000 units per year, with approximately 100,000 of those in North America. Following the launch of the new Insight, Honda also plans to introduce another unique sporty hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z, first shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. All together, Honda plans an increase in its global sales of hybrids to approximately 500,000 units a year, or more than 10% of its total worldwide annual automobile sales.