2019 Honda Insight production model to make global debut at New York International Auto Show; series hybrid with 55 mpg city
The all-new, production version of the 2019 Insight (earlier post) will make its global production debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). The new Insight, launching at Honda dealerships nationally in early summer, joins the Clarity series and just-launched 2018 Accord Hybrid as the fifth new Honda electrified vehicle introduced over the past year. As a premium compact sedan, Insight is positioned and priced between Civic and Accord in Honda’s passenger car lineup.
The third-generation Insight is powered by the third generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system, featuring a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine, electric propulsion motor, and lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 151 horsepower and 197 lb-ft (267 N·m) of electric motor torque. Under most conditions, the Insight operates as a series hybrid, in which the gasoline engine, connected to the generator motor, produces electricity that is supplied to either the electric propulsion motor and/or the 60-cell lithium-ion battery pack.
Honda estimates the Insight will deliver up to 55 mpg (4.27 l/100 km) in the city.
The Insight features three selectable driving modes—NORMAL, ECON, and SPORT—allowing drivers to customize their experience by maximizing efficiency or driving performance. Additionally, all Insights have steering wheel-mounted deceleration selectors to choose among three levels of regenerative braking performance, depending on driving conditions.
In normal mode, the Insight is capable of all-electric driving for short distances of roughly a mile. Unlike competing systems, Honda’s two-motor hybrid technology works without the need for a conventional automatic transmission, with the electric propulsion motor directly powering the drive axles. During higher speed operation a lock-up clutch connects the engine to the drive axles to provide the most efficient operation during highway and freeway driving.
The placement of the lithium-ion hybrid battery pack beneath the rear seats allows for a fold-down rear seat (60/40-split on EX and Touring trims) to maximize cargo- and people-hauling flexibility.
Body and chassis. The Insight shares its basic platform architecture with the 10th-generation Civic. In keeping with its premium compact sedan character, the Insight gets numerous engineering enhancements to further improve ride quality, cabin quietness and efficiency. The body features Honda’s Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. An aluminum hood, unique to Insight, reduces weight, while additional sound insulation in the engine bay, front fenders, front firewall, and front and rear floor further aids cabin quietness.
The Insight’s new chassis utilizes a fully-independent suspension system—Macpherson strut front and multi-link rear—with liquid-sealing compliance bushings at both ends (Touring trim only). Like Civic, the Insight also features variable-ratio dual-pinion electric power steering. Confident and linear braking performance is provided by an electro-servo brake system, which combines efficient regenerative braking and mechanical (friction) braking.
Advanced safety technology. The 2019 Honda Insight will include the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, which includes Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assistance System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Traffic Sign Recognition.
Insight EX and Touring trims will also come equipped with Honda LaneWatch, and all trims will have a multi-angle rearview camera. The Insight targets top collision safety ratings, including an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK with a “Good” rating in all crash test modes and a “Superior” rating for front crash protection.
Manufacturing. The Insight will be manufactured alongside the Civic and CR-V at Honda’s plant in Greensburg, Indiana. The hybrid battery unit will be assembled at the company’s Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio, with the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine manufactured by Honda’s Anna, Ohio engine plant, which also produces the engine for the Ohio-made 2018 Accord Hybrid.