Honda to Display Concept Model of All-New Insight Dedicated Hybrid Vehicle Scheduled for Release in 2009 at Paris Motor Show TOKYO, Japan, September 4, 2008 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it will display the concept model of its all-new Insight dedicated hybrid vehicle at the 2008 Paris Motor Show (October 2–19; Press Days: October 2–3). Honda is introducing the advanced Insight to meet the needs of customers in a new era of widespread demand for hybrid vehicles. The name Insight was chosen to denote Honda's "insight" into a new era in which hybrid vehicles come within reach of most car buyers. A five-door, five-passenger compact hatchback, the new Insight will feature an innovative new platform in which the battery and control unit are located beneath the cargo space for exceptional utility and a light, pleasing driving feel. The new Insight features Honda's innovative, highly efficient compact hybrid powerplant, in which a gasoline engine serves as the main power source and the electric motor assists when extra power is needed, such as during passing or start-up and acceleration. The new Insight also features a new driving support function that helps drivers make the most of its exceptional fuel economy to achieve more efficient, environmentally responsible driving. Thanks to reductions in the weight and size of the Insight's key components, Honda has also achieved significant cost reductions. Honda plans to introduce the production version of the all-new Insight to the markets in Japan, Europe and North America in spring 2009 and projects annual global sales of 200,000 units. At the Paris Motor Show, Honda will also display the FCX Clarity, its fuel cell automobile that offers the ultimate in clean performance, producing absolutely no CO2 emissions in operation; and a design study model of the CR-Z lightweight sports hybrid vehicle, scheduled to be released in the near future.
Honda pulled a fast one on us and gave its new Prius-killer a crazy dusted-off name — the 2010 Honda Insight. While certainly not creative, the intent behind this vehicle is. At an expected price tag of $18,500, the new Honda Insight is expected to compete at a much lower price point than any other hybrid on the market. Although it's only a "concept" version, we're told we should expect the final version to show off more than 90% of the same looks as the one pictured here. We'll find out for sure when we see it officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October, with the production-intent tweaks debuting at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Our first take is the Insight looks surprisingly like our rendered speculation, but actually jazzes things up a bit with big flashy wheels, sharp lower lighting and plenty of chrome, all of which are suspect in production form. It does still have the shape of a robot egg, so we're not totally surprised there. The car is primarily powered by the gasoline engine, with standard hybrid electric startup and acceleration duties. Honda is also touting a "driving support function" which helps drivers achieve higher mileage. Complete details on what we know below the jump.