Honda Insight prototype to debut at Detroit auto show

Steve Phelps
December 20, 2017

The Honda Insight is to return in 2018 with a hybrid powertrain, as Honda revives its Toyota Prius rival for the United States market.

A prototype will be shown at Detroit's North American International Auto Show. "With the Insight launching later in 2018 as the fifth electrified vehicle brought to market over the past year, we're demonstrating our commitment to that goal".

The 2019 Honda Insight will adopt a two-motor hybrid system.

Honda released eight photos showing what's called the "Insight Prototype", though it looks about as close to a finished production auto as any concept we've seen.

The all-new 2019 Honda Insight will use the latest version of the company's 2-motor hybrid system and is slated to be launched next summer. It will have premium features and performance for mainstream vehicle buyers. In the USA, the new Insight will be "positioned above the Civic".

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Honda's funky two-door Insight hybrid came out in 1999 and got 70 miles per gallon on the highway. Given how well the interior design of Honda's Clarity line-up - which offers fuel cell, plug-in, and hybrid models - has been received, if the 2019 Insight can borrow some of that style and build quality it's onto a good thing.

The 2019 Insight, however, is a compact-to-mid-size four-door sedan-a far more popular segment for USA vehicle buyers.

The original Insight of the early 2000s was a 3-door hatch.

The fuel economy, really the primary reason for purchase of a hybrid these days, will be "competitive with other compact hybrid models", the company said. Most of the sales will be driven by gas-powered trucks and SUVs.

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