IT&Software

Honda Insight hybrid prototype revealed ahead of Detroit motor show

Honda Insight hybrid prototype revealed ahead of Detroit motor show

As well more conventional styling than the first two generations, the 2019 Insight will also place a greater focus on interior space for passengers and cargo.

The third-generation Insight was conceived as part of the Honda Electrification Initiative, its worldwide commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and offer electrified vehicles in two-thirds of its offerings by 2030. Honda is bringing back the Insight name a third time for a new dedicated hybrid that will arrive later this year.

The parts coming from outside the US likely include the hybrid powertrain, which is similar to that used in the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, which went on sale in December. Which means it should share its 2700-millimetre wheelbase.

Honda has released official details about its 2019 Insight hybrid ahead of its January 15th reveal.

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Upmarket touches will include perforated leather, LED headlights, and a Wi-Fi-enabled infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. The powertrain will be able to operate on electric power alone in most conditions as it draws energy from the engine that acts as a generator or the battery pack. According to Honda, the new Insight is a full five-seater; and, because its batteries are located under the floor, the boot is a good size, and can be extended thanks to 60/40 split rear seats. In the Clarity, the 1,498cc 4-cylinder generates 103 horsepower and 99 lb. -ft. of torque and its AC permanent-magnet synchronous drive motor develops 181 horsepower and a substantial 232 lb. -ft. of torque from zero to 2000 rpm. We're thinking about 150 to 160 hp, which would be higher than its rivals.

The 2019 Honda Insight will also feature the brand's latest advanced driving aids, such as Honda LaneWatch passenger-side blind spot monitoring, and the Honda Sensing suite that rounds up adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and traffic sign recognition, a collision mitigation system, lane departure warning and road departure mitigation.

In comparison, both the Toyota Prius and Kia Niro offer EPA ratings in excess of 50 mpg combined.

Honda says the 2019 Insight will commence production later this year at the company's Greensburg, Indiana assembly plant. Although details of the propulsion system won't be confirmed until the show, it's nearly certain the new Insight will feature the latest version of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid powertrain. No pricing has been announced yet, but we're expecting a base MSRP of about $26,000, right between the Ioniq and the Prius.