Today, Honda has confirmed that a bigger, updated model of their hybrid vehicle, the Honda Insight, will make its green entrance at the Paris auto show in October. Introduced in 1999, the Honda Insight is technically billed as the first mass produced hybrid vehicle and, in theory, should’ve beat the Toyota Prius at it’s own game. Unfortunately, in addition to being the leaders in hybrid technology, Honda was also the leader in aesthetically revolting exterior design. The latter distinction ultimately cost them big time; from 1999 to 2006, the Honda Insight only sold a total of 17,001 units. Expected to hit dealer showrooms in April, the 2009 Honda Insight will ditch the 2-passenger, covered rear wheel layout in favor of a five-passenger hatchback and will look absolutely nothing like its rival, the Toyota Prius. We jest, of course.
‘See The 09 Insight After The Jump
After licking their wounds, Honda sent the Insight back to the drawing board and for 2009, will reveal a fresh design shaded heavily with Prius-brand colored pencils. With a completely new platform, the 2009 Honda Insight adds room for three more passengers and loses those gross first generation rear panels. Although the Insight’s gasoline engine will be its primary power source, the electric motor will generate energy for the car’s auxiliary functions as well as provide additional power for accelerating, starting, and stopping. Surprisingly, the Insight’s upgrade does not spell price inflation – quite the opposite, in fact. Specifics have yet to be released, but Honda has confirmed that the Insight will retail for less than the both the $22,660 Civic Hybrid and the $21,500 Toyota Prius.
We say: We sympathize with Honda because they did it first, Toyota just did it better. We’re sincerely rooting for the Honda Insight, and if we manage to get our hands on a Prius and an Insight, we just might have to schedule a drag race shootout.
[Photo & News Source: Auto News]