Honda's next generation "Prius Killer" hybrid has been seen roaming the desert under heavy camouflage. Most of the time, the vehicle has been caught with a Toyota Prius tagging along for comparison purposes.
Today, however, we are finally able to see what the five-seat Insight 2 hatchback will look like -- at least in concept form – when it launches next year courtesy of CAR Magazine. The design borrows heavily from the production Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, although it's likely that many will claim that Honda directly ripped off the Prius' design.
While the car you see pictured to the right is considered a "concept", if Honda's previous concepts are any indication, this is about 97% production ready. Ditch the large wheels and tone down the front lighting and you'd be looking at the production model.
There aren't many more concrete details available on the Insight 2; however, we do know these few tidbits of information regarding the vehicle. First, the Insight 2 will undercut the Honda Civic Hybrid in pricing. Early reports from Honda insiders suggest that the Insight 2 will be priced below $19,000 when it launches next spring. For comparison, the Honda Civic Hybrid starts at $22,600, while the Toyota Prius starts at $21,500.
Secondly, the Insight 2 will likely use Honda's next generation Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. The new IMA is reportedly 50% cheaper to produce than the existing IMA used in the Honda Civic Hybrid.
"The original Honda Insight pioneered hybrid technology in the U.S. and remains a symbol of Honda's commitment to innovative technology and fuel efficiency," said Honda CEO and President Takeo Fukui. "This new Insight will also break new ground by providing an affordable hybrid to an expanded number of customers craving great fuel economy and great value."
Honda hopes to sell 200,000 units of its Insight 2 globally with half of those sales coming from North America. Sales of the Insight 2 along with a production version of the CR-Z hybrid will push Honda's global annual hybrid sales to 500,000 units.
quote: Anyone care to take bets that when Honda or Toyota finally does a serial hybrid with LI batteries that it will be hailed as the second coming of Christ?
quote: Americans really need to get over the idea that small cars have to be cheap economy cars if we want to adapt to modern gas prices.
quote: Ditch the large wheels and tone down the front lighting and you'd be looking at the production model.
quote: Consider yourself notified. My girlfriend digs small cars (she wants a Smart Car).
quote: in your $19k non-gas-guzzler
quote: There you have it women, want to grow hair on your face and body? Buy a Maserati.
quote: Misty Dingos said, "One question. When the battery pack goes south and needs replacement is that going to be covered under warranty?"
quote: I'm quite sure the success of the Prius is due to it's efficiency and not it's "good looks"
quote: so what you are saying is that we could have had a prius that looked like a g35??
quote: what does the new G35 have? I remember the 928 had something miserable like .38.
quote: I'm more inclined to believe that it was an engineering compromise as masher said.