While it's not a far cry from the Insight Concept shown at the Paris Motor Show, there are still a few noticeable changes. The front end design has lost the show car's LED lighting in favor of conventional halogen/hid units. The lower fascia has grown a pair of oddly placed fog lamps. Fortunately the happy grin of the concept remains as it should. The profile view remains similar in design, but loses the tiny mirrors and over-sized wheels of the show car. The biggest difference happens at the rear, where the tough look of the show car has been set aside for a more "productionized" look with proper bumpers and a larger rear glass opening.
Getting inside, the Insight shares lots of bits from the Civic. So the two-tier digital instrument panels are there, along with a new "fuel efficiency" gauge. Standard features on all 2010 Honda Insight Hybrids include 60/40 split and fold-down rear seatbacks; automatic climate control; power windows, mirrors and door locks; a tilting and telescoping steering wheel and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 audio playback, an auxiliary audio input jack and Speed-Sensitive Volume Control (SVC). Navigation screen is the only option here.
The 2010 Honda Insight is powered by a 1.3L SOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a CVT transmission. That engine works together with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology that allows for an EPA rated fuel-economy of 40/43 (city/highway) mpg. Infact, according to our trusted sources, the Insight could manage over 60 mpg! Besides that outstanding fuel-economy, the 13hp electric motor IMA hybrid system, along with a 10.6 gallon fuel-tank, allows for driving range of more than 400 miles.
At an expected price tag of 19,000$, this five-passenger, five-door Insight is expected to be the most affordable hybrid car available when it goes on sale in the spring of 2009. That should kick-off the new, ugly and expensive Toyota Prius. Honda expects to sell 200,000 units per year - approximately 100,000 in North America - and will utilize a new interactive, driver-focused fuel economy enhancement technology named the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist™).