Honda Details 50 MPG 2019 Insight Hybrid

Honda Insight Prototype is ready for Detroit prime time image

The Honda Insight prototype is set to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show next week. The wheelbase is longer, therefore, while the stance is lower and wider.

Like its predecessors, the 2019 Honda Insight will be a petrol/electric hybrid, but this time it's being introduced when hybrid powertrains are actually becoming popular. Honda has received a fair bit of flak for its infotainment system lately, but it promises more intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality this round, including customisable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with available Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and WiFi-enabled over-the-air system updates. In fact, it looks much better than the Honda Civic with which it shares many of its underpinnings. 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. The hybrid batteries located under the rear seats provides for a full-size trunk with the flexibility of available 60/40 split and folding rear seats. A blind spot monitoring system would be better, paired with rear cross-traffic alert. Although details of the propulsion system won't be confirmed until the show, it's nearly certain the new Insight will feature the latest version of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid powertrain.

In the larger and heavier Clarity Plug-In Hybrid mid-size sedan, the drive motor is rated at 135 kilowatts (181 horsepower) and 232 pound-feet of torque.

It runs on electric power only and uses the engine (operating as a generator) or the battery pack. Therefore, if Honda fully implements this drivetrain in the new Civic-based Insight, which is likely 700-800 lbs. lighter, performance should be robust.

The hybrid will be powered by a third-generation two motor hybrid system which features an 1.5-litre Atkinson petrol engine, electric propulsion motor and lithium-ion battery pack. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version. The Japanese brand followed up with two generations of the Civic Hybrid, two generations of the Accord Hybrid, a second-generation Insight as well as the Honda CR-Z.

The auto manufacturer hopes to make two-thirds of its global vehicle sales electrified by 2030.

Unlike the new CR-V, however, the third-generation Insight is not bound for Europe, but it will sit in the brand's United States line-up between the Civic and the Accord.



Other news