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Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Honda Hybrid, Insight, Unveiled Today at the Detroit Auto Show, To Challenge Champ, Toyota's Prius

The new Honda Insight hybrid has arrived and it promises to revolutionize the hybrid market by making gas-electric cars affordable. But the five-door hatchback with a rock-bottom price isn't the Prius killer Honda might have hoped for. The car was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show and when it rolls into showrooms on April 22, which is Earth Day, it will undercut the Toyota Prius by several thousand dollars. That won't be enough to knock a car that's synonymous with hybrid technology from its pedestal, but the 2010 Insight poses the first credible threat to Toyota's dominance of the hybrid market. It's widely expected to cost no more than $20,000, and Honda almost certainly will sell every one of the 100,000 Insights destined for North America this year.
Analysts say as many as half those sales could be siphoned away from Toyota. The next-generation Prius will debut during the show. But the Insight has more than a great price going for it. With its stellar fuel economy, snappy acceleration and clever interactive dashboard designed to help drivers maximize efficiency, the Insight is the world's first fun hybrid. Source: Wired
Honda spent more than two years developing the car, which gets its name from the two-seater Insight hybrid that was the first gas-electric vehicle sold in the United States when it was introduced in 10 years ago. The car never caught on, while the Prius outsold Honda hybrids by roughly four to one. Ouch. Honda discontinued the vehicle in 2006 and pulled the plug on the Honda hybrid the next year.

To read more about the Honda Insight, CLICK HERE.