Honda Insight to be halted ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Honda Insight to be halted

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Honda Insight to be halted

The Honda Insight, introduced as the first mass produced hybrid sold in the US gets a fuel economy rating of 60/66 and 57/56 for its 5-speed manual transmission or CVT models. It's also been the most fuel efficient model offered in the US for years.

But now production is being halted in September. With only 608 sold in 2004 and 666 sold in 2005, the two seater Insight just isn't popular enough to keep it going. Honda has only produced the Insight for so long so that they can claim to produce the most fuel efficient vehicle every year.

And so Honda is going in a new direction, developing a new dedicated hybrid vehicle suitable for family use to be available in 2009.

BTW, since this is a dedicated hybrid vehicle, this is not the Honda Fit hybrid that has been rumoured to be introduced next year.

Honda's description of the 2006 Honda Insight follows:
As the first of three hybrid vehicles offered by Honda, the Insight remains a favorite vehicle choice among customers seeking cutting edge technology and industry leading fuel economy, and demonstrates Honda's long-standing commitment to technological and environmental leadership.

The Insight employs Honda's unique Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system that couples a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine with a thin, lightweight electric motor for enhanced fuel economy and added power when accelerating. The system recaptures energy from the car's momentum during braking and deceleration, with the electric motor acting as a generator that automatically recharges the batteries so that it never needs to be plugged in.

The IMA system in the Insight also uses an "idle stop" feature that automatically turns off the engine when the car is not moving to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions. On models equipped with the CVT, the engine automatically restarts when the driver's foot is removed from the brake, and on 5-speed models it restarts when first gear is engaged.

The Insight was designed from the ground up to deliver world-class fuel economy and ultra low emissions. This was accomplished in part by using a lightweight, aerodynamic, aluminum-intensive body and chassis combination that delivers a low 0.25 coefficient of drag, and contributes to a range of more than 500 miles on a single tank of gas.

An extensive number of features come as standard equipment on the Insight, including dual air bags, anti-lock brakes, electric power steering, power windows and mirrors, power door locks with keyless entry, anti-theft Immobilizer system and available automatic climate control.

*For the 2006 model year, all Honda horsepower and torque specifications have been updated to reflect revised Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1349 (Rev 8/04) net calculations that went into affect in January of 2005. These new calculations reflect a number of significant changes in the way horsepower and torque are measured and may cause SAE net horsepower and torque totals published in 2006 media materials to differ from the figures published in previous years. To avoid confusion, all 2006 Honda press materials will specify "SAE net (Rev 8/04" ) after all horsepower and torque figures to denote adherence to the new standards.

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1 comment:

Martini said...

It's sad to see the demise of the Insight, but it was inevitable. Honda took a hit each time one was built. At least they are dedicated enought to build a replacement for it.

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