By Steve & Tamami Laser
Honda is planning to display a prototype of the next-generation Insight Hybrid at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show next month. The new sedan is expected to go on sale in the U.S. next summer as a 2019 model.
Honda says the production model will be positioned above the Civic and employ the latest generation of the automakers’ two-motor hybrid system.
“At the 2017 North American International Auto Show we announced our Honda Electrification Initiative with the intention to make two-thirds of Honda’s global vehicle sales electrified vehicles by 2030,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “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 Insight prototype is dressed with upscale and sophisticated styling that brings to mind the current Honda Accord and Clarity models. (We’re wondering if Acura will get its own version of this car to fit in the lineup above the ILX?)
Unlike the hatchback styling of the first two generation Insights, the new model receives a traditional trunk. While platform details have not been announced, the new Insight appears to be based on the current Civic’s platform.
The five-passenger cabin for the new Insight looks plush and spacious in this illustration from Honda Design. The elimination of a traditional gearshift opens up more space for the console between the front seats.
This rendering of the Insight’s interior looks quite a bit different from the Civic’s with a larger floating-style center display screen and what appears to be a shift-by-wire system like the Clarity’s and 10-speed Accord.
Times have changed quite a bit since Honda introduced the first-generation Insight hatchback (2000 model shown above). The lightweight two-passenger hatch boasted an EPA rating of 70 mpg and was the first Honda with the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid setup.
The second-generation Insight’s looks changed dramatically with the shift to a four-door hatchback bodystyle (2010 model shown above).
Honda says the 2019 Insight will be built at the automaker’s Greensburg, Indiana plant along with the current Civic and CR-V. Insight will join the new 2018 Accord Hybrid and the trio of Clarity models (Fuel Cell, Electric and Plug-in Hybrid) in Honda’s array of electrified vehicles.
CR-V Hybrid Slated to Go On Sale in Japan
In other Honda hybrid news, the latest Honda CR-V, scheduled to go on sale next year in Japan, will offer Honda’s Sport Hybrid i-MMD two-motor hybrid system in both front- and 4WD versions. We made this photo of the new CR-V Hybrid in Japan at Honda’s Tokyo Motor Show display in October. We hope to see the CR-V Hybrid added to Honda’s U.S. lineup in the future.
Note: Features, specifications and launch timing for production models is subject to change without notice.
News source and photos (as noted) for Insight courtesy American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Story and CR-V Hybrid photo © 2017 CarNichiWa.com