ibusinesslines.com September 26, 2018

Honda Insight Prototype is ready for its Detroit debut

12 January 2018, 02:56 | Jodi Jackson

Honda Insight Prototype is ready for its Detroit debut

Honda unveils images of new Insight prototype

In fact, it looks much better than the Honda Civic with which it shares many of its underpinnings.

The 2019 Honda Insight will also feature the brand's latest advanced driving aids, such as Honda LaneWatch passenger-side blind spot monitoring, and the Honda Sensing suite that rounds up adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and traffic sign recognition, a collision mitigation system, lane departure warning and road departure mitigation.

Available luxuries will include perforated leather seating, an eight-inch head unit with capacitive touchscreen and a seven-inch digital instrument panel. 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.

Actually, the look of the Insight, Accord and Clarity are all very similar and the size differential between the three cars isn't substantial, which could cause some buyers to have to think long and hard about which of the three to buy because of the similarity.

The car's lithium-ion hybrid battery will live under the rear seats, enabling 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks and a pass through into the otherwise conventional trunk.

On EX and higher trims, the Insight will come standard with the Honda Sensing group of safety technologies, including adaptive cruise control with low-speed following capability, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, Road Departure Mitigation (which helps keep the auto on the road), and traffic sign recognition capability.

The real star of the show, however, is the car's 2-motor hybrid system. It does not work for the left side of the auto.

It is the fifth electrified Honda launched over the past year, joining the Clarity series of eco-friendly models (Fuel Cell, Plug-In Hybrid, Electric) and the 2018 Accord Hybrid.

The five-passenger 2019 Honda Insight is the company's new dedicated hybrid model, set to rival the Toyota Prius, the Kia Niro and the Hyundai Ioniq, although it seems heavily based on the Honda Civic's bones. A 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle engine is paired with a "powerful electric propulsion motor".

Honda says the Insight will offer "class-leading" power, but does not define what that is. Most important, though, is the economy, with Honda suggesting an EPA combined rating of more than 50 mpg, despite "class-leading power" from the Insight. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version. The Insight powertrain is similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt, meaning that the auto is powered by the electric motor most of the time, with the gas engine generally acting as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery pack found under the backseat. It'll be the automakers fifth electrified vehicle and it will be built alongside the Honda Civic and CR-V in Indiana.

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