Last week at the Detroit Motor Show, Honda revealed its Prius-challenging Insight Hybrid, and has today revealed details on the UK/Euro version.
The new Insight, which utilises a 1.3 litre petrol engine with 88bhp, coupled with a 14bhp electric motor to give a 0-60 of just over 12 seconds and 113mph, has very low Co2 of 101-105g/km (which means just £35 VED – but if only they’d shaved that a smidge it would have been a freebie) which is very creditable.
Honda has the Prius firmly in its sights with this car, and it aims to comfortably undercut the Prius on price. Even the entry-level SE includes 15-inch alloy wheels, climate control air conditioning, electric folding door mirrors, front and rear electric windows, steering wheel audio controls and VSA, so you do get a fair bit for your money. Spec improves as you go up the range (ES and ES-T) but the entry-level model has enough to keep most buyers happy.
Although Honda has publicly acknowledged that they believe the future for cars is Hydrogen powered, they are committed to the Hybrid model. And it makes sense for them. Toyota has had the Hybrid market to itself for some time, and in these Eco-Conscience times Hybrids are big news. And big news should mean big sales. Honda are aiming for 200,000 Insight sales worldwide, and about 8,000 in the UK. But they are looking for worldwide Hybrid sales to reach 500,000 as they run out Hybrid models of the Jazz, the Civic and a sport Roadster based on the CR-Z.
I can see this selling well. It’s well-equipped and keenly priced, and it beats the host of diesel powered super minis on Co2 emissions, whilst offering significantly more room.