Date: October 02, 2008 06:59
Honda EU Press Release
Today at the Paris Auto Show the world will get its first full view of Honda's Insight Concept model, which shows the design direction that the new dedicated hybrid model will take.
Honda has always intended Hybrid vehicles to be a bridge to a hydrogen powered future, the potential of which has already been demonstrated by the leasing of the first FCX Clarity.
The Insight Concept has clear stylistic links to the world's first production fuel cell car, with both vehicles' forms shaped to maximise their aerodynamic efficiency and therefore reduce fuel consumption.
The Insight Concept is the stylistic inspiration for the production version which will go on sale in 2009. From this unique position in the marketplace, Insight will open hybrid technology to a new generation of customers.
Insight's cost savings are partly possible because processes have been continuously improved to make them faster and therefore more efficient. Honda engineers have refined many aspects of the production process to make them more efficient to perform to increase production capacity and plant efficiency.
A cornerstone of the cost reduction is the refined version of Honda's award winning IMA system, combining an electric motor with a refined, low emission and efficient petrol engine. This petrol-electric engine and CVT gearbox together give low CO2 and NOx emissions, and also achieves inherently excellent refinement.
Along with the Civic Hybrid, the new vehicle will be produced at Honda's Suzuka factory in Japan which recently has expanded hybrid motor production line.
CO2 emissions and fuel economy are targeted to be at a similar level to the existing Civic Hybrid, giving drivers a flexible and highly practical lower environmental impact car. At its expected price point, Insight will have a unique combination of passenger space, luggage capacity, emissions and economy.
The Insight will form the first part of Honda's new hybrid strategy, which will see a further dedicated hybrid model, derived from the CR-Z show car, and a hybrid version of the Jazz. The strategy will make hybrids both more accessible and more appealing to a range of customer types.
The Insight Concept is the culmination of two decades of hybrid petrol electric hybrid research and development. The Insight production vehicle will go on sale in Europe, Japan and North America during the first half of 2009.
Related Link For live shots of the car, check out the gallery over at Jalopnik