Honda first brought the hybrid vehicle to the U.S. with its Insight, which
was far from a sales success. The Insight sold only 2,000 units in 2005 and in
2006 -- its last year of production -- Honda only moved 1,000 Insights.
LeftLane News reports that Honda is gearing up to bring the
Insight hybrid back as a 2010 model. The new Insight will use a 1.3-liter
Integrated Motor Assist system that is similar to the one found in the current
Honda Civic Hybrid. DailyTech reported in July of 2008 that Honda has
refined its hybrid system and that future versions would be 50%
less expensive to build than the current system.
The Insight will use the new, refined hybrid system. Thanks to the cheaper
hybrid drive system LeftLane News reports that the new 2010 Insight will
sell for $18,500 -- significantly cheaper than the Toyota Prius. The new
Insight is based on the Honda Fit, though reports say that it will be three
inches longer and about one inch wider than the Fit.
Fuel economy for the Insight is reported to be as high as 71 miles per
gallon. If the Insight fuel economy comes anywhere close to that number at the
$18,500 MSR, Honda will have a hard time keeping up with the demand for the
Insight when it hits Honda showrooms in mid or late 2009.
Honda says it will build 200,000 Insights annually and expects to sell half
of that amount in America. The Insight seen in the photo here is a development car;
the car is expected to be officially introduced at the Paris Motor Show or the
L.A. Auto Show.