Honda Announces New 'Insight' Hybrid Hatchback



    
    Reduction in component size and manufacturing costs to improve
    affordability
    

    TORONTO, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - Honda will reveal a concept version of its new
small hybrid vehicle, to be named Insight, at the 2008 Paris International
Auto Show on October 2. The new Insight Concept shares styling cues with the
Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle and provides an early look at the new
five-passenger hybrid vehicle due to arrive in Canada next spring.
    The all-new, purpose-built Insight will come to market at a price below
current hybrids available today. From this unique position in the marketplace,
the Honda Insight will advance the affordability and accessibility of hybrid
technology to a new generation of buyers.
    "The original Honda Insight pioneered hybrid technology in North America
and remains a symbol of Honda's commitment to innovative technology and fuel
efficiency," said Takeo Fukui, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Chief Executive Officer.
"This new Insight will break new ground as an affordable hybrid within the
reach of customers who want great fuel economy and great value."
    The Insight Concept defines a new stage in the evolution of hybrid
technology by utilizing a more cost-efficient version of Honda's Integrated
Motor Assist(TM) (IMA(TM)) hybrid technology, resulting in a new level of
affordability for hybrid customers worldwide. Evoking the innovative styling
cues first seen in the FCX Clarity, the Insight Concept is designed with a low
center of gravity and a generous five-passenger cabin, offering the kind of
driving pleasure and roomy interior that customers have come to expect from
Honda.
    While the Insight Concept's aerodynamic design clearly identifies its
fuel-efficient purpose, its five-door access and folding rear seats speak to
functionality that is designed to meet the needs of customers with an active
lifestyle. The Insight Concept is a small, fuel-efficient hybrid car that
delivers big style and functionality with a healthy dose of fun.
    Honda has achieved a significant cost reduction in Integrated Motor
Assist (IMA) components which will allow Insight to be most affordable hybrid
vehicle to date. The production Insight will be offered as a five-door,
five-passenger hatchback. Numerous technologies, including a function to
assist customers in achieving more fuel-efficient driving habits, will be
applied to achieve a further improvement in real world fuel efficiency. With
its affordable price, the new hybrid vehicle will represent the best value in
its segment. Along with the Civic Hybrid, the new vehicle will be produced at
an expanded hybrid vehicle production line at the Suzuka factory in Japan.
    The Insight is expected to have annual global sales of 200,000 units per
year with half of those in North America. Following the launch of the new
Insight, Honda also plans to introduce a unique sporty hybrid vehicle based on
the CR-Z, first shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. All together, Honda's
global sales of hybrids are expected to increase to approximately 500,000
units a year (more than 10 per cent of its total worldwide annual automobile
sales).
    The original Honda Insight was introduced in December 1999 as North
America's first gasoline-electric hybrid car. It was designed to demonstrate
the ultimate potential for fuel-economy in a two-seater subcompact automobile.
    Honda is a leader in the development of leading-edge technologies to
improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduction of CO(2) emissions, including
advanced gasoline engines, gasoline-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell
cars.

    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    




For further information:

For further information: Richard Jacobs, (416) 287-4708


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