The all-new 2009 Honda Insight hybrid car made its world debut today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2009 Insight defines a new stage in the evolution of hybrid technology by utilising a more cost-efficient version of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology, resulting in a new level of affordability for hybrid customers worldwide, and a U.S. EPA city/highway fuel-economy rating of 40/43 miles per gallon.
The 2010 Insight will be launched at Honda dealers throughout the United States at the beginning of April 2009 and will be priced below the Civic Hybrid.
Commenting on the launch of the Insight, Honda Australia Managing Director & CEO, Mr. Yasuhide Mizuno said: "Honda introduced hybrid motoring into Australia with the original two-door Insight back in 2000 and we have been selling hybrids for almost a decade. And now for the first time our technology is being made available in a five-seat, five door body at a very affordable price. The new Insight combines our award winning IMA hybrid system with an easy to use driver aid (Eco Assist) to help our customers maximise their fuel economy. By combining an electric motor with a highly efficient petrol engine, the Insight also offers drivers low CO2 emissions. At Honda, we look forward to introducing Australia to the new Insight within the next twelve months.”
The five-door hatchback design takes some of the styling cues as well as the aerodynamically efficient profile from the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car. To compliment the sleek profile the Insight has been designed with a low centre of gravity helped by the repackaged IMA system, which gives customers a fine handling car with a highly flexible interior.
Evoking the advanced and aerodynamic five-door sedan design first deployed on the revolutionary FCX Clarity fuel cell car, the new Insight has a low centre of gravity and a spacious five-passenger cabin, offering the kind of driving experience and roomy, versatile interior space that customers expect from Honda.
To help Insight owners attain the full benefits of Honda hybrid technology, the Insight will feature a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology named the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist™). Eco Assist combines multiple functions:
The Insight is powered by an advanced 1.3-litre SOHC aluminum-alloy i-VTEC engine and CVT, along with a new generation of Honda’s IMA hybrid system for exceptional fuel economy and fun-to-drive performance.
The Insight’s IMA system incorporates a 10-kilowatt (13 hp) electric motor and a compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) – recapturing and storing kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration and supplying additional power for acceleration when needed. Packaging of the ultra-compact IMA battery and IPU in the vehicle’s rear floor allows the enhanced utility of a 60/40 split and fold-down rear seat back.
The Insight’s IMA system has the capability to operate exclusively on electric power in certain low- to mid-speed driving conditions. It also provides for cylinder deactivation within the petrol engine during deceleration and for engine shutoff when the vehicle is stopped. With a US 10.6-gallon fuel tank, the Insight delivers an estimated maximum driving range in excess of 400 miles.
Honda is a leader in developing cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicle technologies, including the original Honda Insight, introduced in 1999 as the first commercially produced petrol-electric hybrid car in Europe and the US. Honda has announced plans to increase its global hybrid sales to over 500,000 units annually.
Honda is also a pioneer in the development of advanced alternatives to fossil fuels, including the zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car, the world's most advanced low environmental impact production car.
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