earlier entry on a heavily camo-ed vehicle thought to be the 2009 Honda Hybrid. In typical display one one-upping the competitor, Honda has revealed official images of the Insight 2. Earlier speculations were spot on. The Insight 2 is set to debut in the upcoming October 2008 Mondial de l'Automobile, or better known as Paris Motor Show. It just sounds a lot better in its native French. More crucially, the Insight 2 will debut ahead of its archrival Toyota Prius's replacement model, which is rumoured to debut in January 2009 at the Detroit Motor Show.
Image from AutoWeek
Images from MTM
It is good that Honda has decided to keep the Insight name. The original Insight was a car that was well ahead of its time, a little too far ahead in fact. It was the second mass-produced petrol-electric hybrid car in the world, just slightly missing the first generation Prius. It is however the first hybrid exported to the USA. Though discontinued, the Insight still commands a near cult-like following, especially among State-side geeks in the tech central Bay-area of California and San Francisco.
The owner of Insightman.com
First generation Insight owners gathering in Japan. Images from Insightman.
The Insight 2 will adopt a similar powertrain to in the 1.3-litre Civic Hybrid, but will feature a newer generation Honda Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system. Honda's press release claims that lower cost of hybrid components (compared to the 1st gen Insight) means that the Insight 2 could be the most affordable hybrid car in the market. But I doubt the Insight 2 will be making its way to Malaysia or Singapore or Thailand anytime soon.
Also stated in the press release is "Numerous technologies, including a function to assist customers in achieving more fuel efficient driving habits, will be applied to achieve a further improvement in real world fuel efficiency," I would be very interested to find out what is this "function" refering to.