Science

New Honda Insight details emerge ahead of NAIAS debut

New Honda Insight details emerge ahead of NAIAS debut

Launching in the United States later this year, the Insight has morphed from the previous five-door, Prius-shaped vehicle to a sleek "premium compact" sedan positioned above the Civic in Honda's line-up.

Roomy and with the latest technology onboard, the 2019 Honda Insight aims to offer a premium compact experience above the best-selling Civic. The wheelbase is longer, therefore, while the stance is lower and wider. The second-gen Insight that debuted in 2009 was a five-passenger hatchback with a raised, elongated tail that made it hard to distinguish from the Toyota Prius. The batteries are packaged underneath the rear seat, maximizing trunk space and allowing for 60/40 folding rear seats.

We do learn that inside the cabin, an 8-inch infotainment system and a 7-inch digital LCD will serve the driver and the front passenger, coupled with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a Wi-Fi-based OTA system.

A number of driver assistance and safety systems have been introduced into the new auto which include Honda LaneWatch and the Honda Sensing suite. Those include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure alert, and a new traffic-sign recognition feature that's been used on European cars for several years but is just making its way into mass-priced USA vehicles. A blind spot monitoring system would be better, paired with rear cross-traffic alert. In most conditions, Insight operates on electric power only, drawing energy from the engine (operating as a generator) or battery pack. The Honda Electrification Initiative announced by the automaker promises that most all new models launched in 2018 and 2019 will be electrified, and the company's two-motor hybrid system will find its way into both cars and trucks.




Honda says the Insight will offer "class-leading" power, but does not define what that is. The system utilises a 1.5-litre petrol engine coupled with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version.

That also means Honda can presumably price it higher, though it's unclear what the sticker on the new 2019 Insight will be at this stage. It's certainly a lot more conventional in appearance than its two predecessors of the same name, so Honda presumably hopes it will be third time lucky for the nameplate this time.

The production model is expected to go on sale in the United States in the summer of 2019, but at the moment there are no plans to offer the Insight in Europe as the next hybrid Honda has planned is a CR-V Hybrid.


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