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2004 Insight Gains Interior Enhancements
 Date: October 06, 2003 21:08
 Submitted by:  Tuan
 Source: Honda Press Release
 Credibility Rating: N/A


Torrance, Calif. 10/06/2003 -- As the first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid passenger vehicle sold in the U.S., the Honda Insight remains America's most fuel-efficient car for the 2004 model year.

For 2004 the Insight gains an improved audio system that includes AM/FM/CD stereo with 4 speakers. Other interior enhancements include the addition of child seat anchors and a new beige/black color scheme for the seats. On the instrument panel, the fuel consumption meter has been changed from green to red to better differentiate it from other instrument panel indicators.

The 2004 Insight is available with either a 5-speed manual transmission or an advanced continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), achieving EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings of 60/66 and 57/56 mpg, respectively. For the 2003 model year, the Honda Insight topped the EPA's Green Vehicle Guide for its low emissions and excellent fuel economy.

The first of two hybrid vehicles offered by Honda, "the Insight remains a favorite vehicle choice among customers seeking cutting edge technology and industry leading fuel economy," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "It demonstrates Honda's long-standing commitment to technological and environmental leadership."

For enhanced fuel economy and added power when accelerating, the Insight employs Honda's unique Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system that couples a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine with a fully integrated, lightweight electric motor. The system recaptures energy from the car's momentum during braking and deceleration, with the electric motor acting as a generator that automatically recharges the batteries so that it never needs to be plugged in.

The Insight's IMA system also uses a unique "idle stop" feature that automatically turns off the engine when the car is not moving to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions. On models equipped with the CVT, the engine automatically restarts when the driver's foot is removed from the brake, and on 5-speed models it restarts when first gear is engaged.

The Insight was designed from the ground up to deliver world-class fuel economy and ultra low emissions. This was accomplished in part by using a lightweight and aerodynamic aluminum body and chassis that delivers a low 0.25 coefficient of drag and a 40 percent reduction in weight versus conventional steel body components.

The Insight offers an extensive assortment of standard features, including anti-lock brakes, electric power steering, dual air bags, power windows and mirrors, power door locks with keyless entry, anti-theft Immobilizer system and available automatic climate control.
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