Torrance, California – Honda has announced that it will reveal a concept of its new small hybrid vehicle, to be named the Insight, at the 2008 Paris International Auto Show on October 2. The new Insight Concept shares styling cues with the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle and will provide an early look at the production five-passenger hybrid vehicle.
The company said that the Insight will go on sale in the U.S. in the spring of 2009, at a price significantly below hybrids currently available.
“The original Honda Insight pioneered hybrid technology in the U.S. and remains a symbol of Honda’s commitment to innovative technology and fuel efficiency,” said Takeo Fukui, CEO of Honda Motor Company. “This new Insight will break new ground as an affordable hybrid within the reach of customers who want great fuel economy and great value.”
The Insight Concept uses a more cost-efficient version of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology, and is designed with a low centre of gravity, generous cabin, hatchback styling and folding rear seats.
The Insight will be produced along with the Civic Hybrid at an expanded hybrid vehicle production line at the Suzuka factory in Japan. It is expected to have annual global sales of 200,000 vehicles, with half in North America. Following the launch of the 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’s global sales of hybrids should increase to approximately 500,000 units per year, or more than 10 per cent of its total worldwide annual automobile sales.
The original Hodna Insight was introduced in December 1999 as North America’s first gasoline-electric hybrid car.