Honda Insight Prototype Is Barely A Concept

by under News on 12 Jan 2018 01:55:23 PM12 Jan 2018

They’ve even detailed some features for model trims.

2018 Honda Insight Prototype – '18 Detroit Motor Show

This handsome-looking thing is Honda’s third try to make the Insight a more mainstream hybrid option in the increasingly-popular electrified saloon market. While previous iterations have featured designs that seemingly put aerodynamics above aesthetics, this third-generation model is not only less oddball in shape, but is actually pretty good looking.

The upright front end, dominated by the “flying wing” grille and flanked by LED headlights, is bold and distinctive, and manages to look both reassuringly Honda, but also appears unique to the Insight. The roofline is now more conventional in its angles, looking now more like a four-door coupe as opposed to the wedge-shape it previously adopted, while the rear also features the prominent use of LEDs to make it look even more distinctive on the road. 

2018 Honda Insight Prototype – '18 Detroit Motor Show
“The new 2019 Honda Insight signals that we are entering a new era of electrification, with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advance powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features, or packaging. The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy  ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out, and best-in-class passenger volume” — Henio Arcangeli Jr., General Manager (Honda Division), American Honda Motor Co.
2018 Honda Insight Prototype – '18 Detroit Motor Show

The Insight actually has a remarkably long wheelbase, maximising cabin space significantly. Honda is quick to highlight the availability of “premium” features like perforated leather for the seats, an 8-inch floating infotainment screen, and a 7-inch drivers’ instrument panel. The infotainment screen, sitting atop the centre stack, offers “smartphone-like functionality,” which can be enhanced further with literal smartphone functionality thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There were few mechanical details released like power and torque figures, but we do know that the Insight will utilise a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol mill, mated to a bank of lithium-ion batteries. The Insight promises “class-leading power,” balanced with a miserly 4.7L/100km fuel consumption figure. Interestingly, Honda says that the Insight will operate on electric power exclusively in most conditions, with the engine being used as a generator. This implies that the Insight may perhaps also offer a plug-in hybrid variant, assuming it isn’t PHEV from the get-go.

2018 Honda Insight Prototype – '18 Detroit Motor Show

Safety is also a strong point on the new Insight, or so it’s claimed. Honda says that its ‘Sensing’ safety suite will be included as standard, bundling things like brake assist, lane-departure warning, road departure mitigation, intelligent cruise control, traffic-jam assistant, and traffic-sign recognition. Honda’s LaneWatch technology will be reserved for EX models and above, though.

When it arrives, the Insight will be built at Honda’s plant in Greensburg, Indiana, alongside siblings like the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V. The Insight will be the fifth electrified vehicle in the present-day Honda lineup, lining the Clarity family of cars (three in all), as well as the Accord Hybrid. More details will be gleaned during its in-the-metal debut at the upcoming North American International Auto Show (or the Detroit motor show), kicking off next week.

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