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.