|The Insight concept. Click to enlarge.|
Honda revealed a concept version of its new small hybrid-only vehicle, the new Insight, at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The new Insight marks the return of a dedicated hybrid to the Honda model line-up and the start of a new phase of Honda’s hybrid strategy—the Insight is the first of three new hybrid models that will appear within the next four years.
Honda also plans for upcoming launches of a new sporty hybrid based on the CRZ and a Jazz Hybrid, as well as a new version of the Civic Hybrid. Honda is planning global sales of more than 500,000 units per year with its four hybrids, said Takeo Fukui, president and chief executive officer of Honda Motor Co, at the reveal.
The Insight is targeted to deliver fuel consumption on a par with the Civic Hybrid, but at a significantly reduced price. The weight and size of the new Insight IMA hybrid drivetrain, combining a 1.3-liter engine and electric motor, has been significantly reduced, Fukui said.
This new Insight represents the further advance of our concept of offering a hybrid for everyone. We have further reduced the weight and size of the hybrid system. And we have improved and strengthened our production system to further reduce the cost of our hybrid system.
While we continue to view the FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle as the ultimate solution, we will position Insight as an environmentally-responsible vehicle available to everyone now. The mass-production Insight will go on sale in Europe, Japan, and North America in spring 2009 with expected annual global sales of 200,000 units.—Takeo Fukui
The concept will make its US debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, and Honda plans to unveil the mass-production model of the Insight next January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Year-to-date, Honda has sold 10,507 hybrids in Europe.