The new Honda Insight is intended by Honda to compete directly with the Toyota Prius. Unlike the previous Insight, which could only seat two, the new dedicated hybrid hatchback from Honda seats five.
"We are developing this vehicle to achieve excellent fuel efficiency on a par with the Civic Hybrid, but at a significantly reduced price. The new Insight is equipped with a hybrid system that combines a lightweight and compact 1.3 litre (gasoline) engine with a motor that will achieve excellent fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions," Fukui said, without revealing any data.
The 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid is rated at 40 mpg city and 45 mpg highway. The 2009 Toyota Prius is rated at 48 mpg city and 45 mpg highway. Since the new Insight looks like the Prius, but is supposed to cheaper, it looks like Toyota will finally have some competition.
Fukui expects the Insight to sell up to 200,000 units a year starting on Earth Day, 2009. A hybrid CR-Z SUV and Fit will also be coming.