Hey look there goes another Toyota Prius, no wait a minute that’s the all new 2010 hybrid car from Honda called the Insight. When the two cars are side by side they are eerily similar looking. But looks can often be deceiving and the all new Insight proves that.
It has been a decade since Honda introduced a purpose built gasoline hybrid with the original two-seat Insight in 1999. The new Insight, which will be released on Earth Day (April 22), can seat five and although no price has been firmly set, it will be the cheapest hybrid available to the market according to Honda (source: greencar.com).
The Insight was designed to flow with the wind. This would explain the reason it looks similar to the Prius. Honda calls the Insight’s body an “Aero Athlete” which in layman’s terms means it scoots through the air with relative ease. In fact the Insight is said to have a low 0.28 coefficient to drag. While Toyota states that the Prius is lower with a 0.26 coefficient to drag, the Insight tackles a problem common to the Prius; rear visibility. The rear hatch on the all new Insight has a second glass panel on the rear vertical surface to help improve visibility (source: greencar.com).
The powertrain for the Insight consists of a 1.3-liter V-TECH four cylinder gasoline engine that works hand in hand with a 10 kW electric motor to form Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. The Insight is capable of producing 98 maximum horsepower and 123 pounds of foot torque. The new IMA hybrid system is an amazing 19 percent smaller and 28 percent lighter than Honda’s previous version (source: greencar.com). What’s all that mean? Great gas mileage what else?
Honda says that the new Insight will be able to achieve a stout 40 miles per gallon around town and 43 miles per gallon on the highway. As if those numbers are not impressive enough, those that have test driven the car have found the numbers to be conservative and said they were able to squeeze much more out of the new hybrid (source: greencar.com).
While the race is still on between the big car manufacturers for that ever elusive electric only car, this newest version of the Insight from Honda is a good temporary substitute. Honestly what more could you want out of a vehicle besides great gas mileage, good looks, and enough room to cart the family to and from wherever you need to go. And oh yeah, a sticker price that will rival that of many gas only engine vehicles. The only problem for Honda may be producing enough of the new Insight to keep up with the demand once it is released.