Honda's New Hybrid -- 2009 Honda Insight

Posted: September 4, 2008

2010 Toyota Prius Pictures

2010 Prius Pictures

After months of speculation, Honda has announced the name of its upcoming Prius-fighting dedicated hybrid sedan.  Reviving the name of the first hybrid to reach U.S. shores, the vehicle will be known as the 2009 Honda Insight.  The Insight makes its formal debut to the press today as a concept car, with the production version to be shown next month at the Paris Motor Show. 

In a press release, Honda claims to have "achieved a significant cost reduction in Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) components which should make Insight the most affordable hybrid vehicle to date."  Earlier reports have placed its price tag around $19,000. The Insight is a five-door, five-passenger hatchback, resembling the Prius.  Honda says, "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."

2009 Insight Concept

2009 Insight Concept

We assume this resembles technologies Nissan has demonstrated, but we may not know details until Paris. 

AutoWeek reports, "The car will sit on a new platform in which the battery and control unit are located beneath the cargo space. The gasoline engine will serve as the main power source, and the electric motor will assist when extra power is needed, such as during passing, start up and acceleration."  Honda "is eyeing annual sales of 200,000 vehicles worldwide, with about half being sold in North America."

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