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First Look: The Return of the Honda Insight Hybrid

By on January 7, 2009 12:04 AM
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In 1999, Honda released the Insight, the first modern hybrid car available in the U.S. The two-door, two-seater hybrid achieved an amazing 70 mpg, but the Insight was discontinued after the 2006 model year as consumers went for the more practical Civic Hybrid, which has battled the Toyota Prius tooth-and-nail for several years now. Soon Honda will have a new arrow in its hybrid quiver. The next Honda Insight will be a five-door, five-passenger hybrid that should be a more formidable Prius opponent. Employing a more cost-efficient version of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid powertrain, the Insight may undercut Prius pricing by a couple thousand dollars. The concept's Prius-like aerodynamic design also features some styling cues from Honda's advanced fuel-cell-powered FCX Clarity. Technology that assists the driver in adopting more fuel-efficient driving habits will be part of the package. The Insight is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. in 2009.

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