Honda Insight Concept
Honda Insight Concept. Click image to enlarge

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Honda Insight Concept

Los Angeles, California – The Honda Insight Concept has made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, along with the announcement of a new, interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology called the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist) that will be part of the production hybrid when it comes to market next spring.

The company said that the Insight Concept provides “a strong indication of the design and styling of the all-new, gasoline-electric hybrid model from Honda.”

Eco Assist combines a driver-activated ECON mode that optimizes control of the continuously variable transmission, engine, and related powertrain components to conserve fuel, with a feedback function that uses the speedometer’s background colour to provide real-time guidance on environmentally responsible driving. An economy scoring function further provides feedback about current driving techniques and on cumulative, long-term driving style.

“Many Canadian motorists, especially hybrid vehicle drivers, enjoy trying to get the most fuel economy from their vehicles,” said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada Inc. “The visual nature of Eco Assist is designed to help Insight drivers improve their efficient driving skills by making the hybrid experience both fun and rewarding.”

Honda said that the Insight will come to market at a price below that of hybrids available today, and along with the Civic Hybrid, will be produced at an expanded vehicle production line at the Suzuka factory in Japan. It is expected to have annual global sales of 200,000 units per year, with about half sold in North America. Following the Insight launch, Honda also plans to introduce a sporty hybrid based on the CR-Z concept that was shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. Honda originally used the name on its first hybrid, the Insight, which was the first gasoline-electric hybrid car introduced to North America when sales began in December 1999.

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