Honda has revealed a refreshed Insight Hybrid in Japan and launched the Honda Insight Exclusive with the 1.5 litre IMA powertrain from the CR-Z.
You can’t blame Honda for wanting to keep a toe in the hybrid waters, especially as arch rival Toyota has all but cornered the market. But you can blame them for the rather woeful Honda Insight Hybrid which, despite offering good headline economy and a bit of a green halo, is something of a dog.
However, a chunk of the criticisms levelled at the Insight were addressed by Honda last month when it revealed its nips and tucks for the Insight for 2012.
The changes included a few cosmetic tweaks – new grill and front bumper, a smaller spoiler at the back and the addition of a rear wiper – but Honda also took a look at the suspension on the Insight and had a play to make it less uncomfortable and more stable.
But one of the poorest parts of the Insight was its arthritic – and over 100g/km emissions – IMA hybrid lump. So Honda had a play with that too, reducing engine friction and fiddled with the ECU and altered the CVT ‘box and AirCon, to reduce emissions below 100g/km and improve economy.
At the time we bemoaned that fact that Honda hadn’t gone the obvious route of endowing the Insight with the IMA setup from the CR-Z – but it looks like that’s changing.
Honda has just revealed the refreshed Insight in Japan and has announced that there is to be a new model – the Honda Insight Exclusive – which will be getting the 1.5 litre IMA Hybrid from the CR-Z.
And as what happens in Japan first with JDM cars is almost certain to find its way West before too long, it’s reasonable to expect that Insight buyers in the UK and Europe will soon get the choice of the livelier – and more expensive – Honda Insight Exclusive.
Assuming anyone wants it.