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Old 05-04-2006, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fit hybrid to use Insight engine?

Apparently this just leaked out. If Honda does use the Insight engine, (why reinvent the wheel?) it could help justify keeping the Insight in production. That would be great. Pure speculation leads one to conclude we might see a power train upgrade.

Article at: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/05 ... .html#more
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was actually thinking about going in the other direction: Put a Fit engine in the Insight, throw out the IMA, and presto chango you have a sports car!

Re the Fit hybrid, it seems likely that they would want to put the new technology from the Civic hybrid in there, so maybe it would still be a 1 liter three cylinder, but with a new valve train...
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, I suppose that would work, but I think putting in a turbo would be cheaper and better for mileage.

Read Jack's turbo post about tires breaking free on the asphalt and you'll understand that too much power in the front of an Insight, without the benefit of a limited slip differential like they have in the new Civic SI, and presto you're in the ditch. All the same, I've no doubt it will be done.
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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good news for us in terms of available parts in the future.
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Old 05-05-2006, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't get it. The current Fit uses a souped-up 1.5l, 100+ hp engine that barely gets over 30 mpg. The 1.5 is the only engine available. Then they are going to use the expensive Insight drivetrain later to get to 50 mpg.

All the while you can buy a Jazz (as the Fit is called in Europe), with a 75 hp 1.2l that already gets 50+ mpg on the highway, for less money than the Fit here!

Oh, sorry, you can't buy that one in the US 8-(

So, apparently, Honda sees demand in the US only for >100hp cars, even in that size / price segment.

Gas is still too cheap!
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Armin wrote.....

All the while you can buy a Jazz (as the Fit is called in Europe), with a 75 hp 1.2l that already gets 50+ mpg on the highway, for less money than the Fit here!

Read that 50+ mpg as Imperial not US gallons,so the Insight engine would provide an advantage as well as being cleaner.

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Old 05-07-2006, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default a Fit Insight...

Keep in mind that Honda, in addition to just being
in business for business (that is, to make money...)
also has a corporate decree from On Top regarding
gas mileage/EPA bragging rights. [a]

So it wouldn't surprise me if they're thinking of
how to tweak the Fit further (ouch...) which might
very well include the use of Insight components.

[a] Well, they're not in it just to get on
the EPA list, of course. They figure it's
also good for business.
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In my oh-so humble opinion,
If Honda puts the Insight drivetrain in a Fit, it will probably mean the end of Insight production. The only reason the Insight is still being produced is to have a honda hold the number 1 spot in the MPG charts. If a 3cyl hybrid fit can do that, then why keep losing money building Insights?
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe, but if you believe that Honda wants to retain their "top of the list" position, then the Insight offers lots of advantages over anything else. It's small and light, and it's already designed and in production. So if Toyota or GM starts competing with a 70 MPG car, Honda could make further improvements to the Insight to stay on top. The smaller car will always have the advantage.

Possible changes:
- Electric-only valvetrain like the Civic
- New battery technology--unchanged since 1999
- Smaller engine
- Better tires
- Lose some more weight: Plastic side windows, for example
- Improvements to assist programming
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Probably everyone has seen the Fit up close by now, but as a small towner, today was my first opportunity... a silver parked right in front of the office when I came out from work. It looks sooo much better than the photos.

The car has a great profile and I loved the steering wheel. My early impression from the photos was that the Fit would be unattractive, and end up looking like a cheap Suzuki (sorry). But the Fit comes across as a real Honda and if they make a hybrid version next year? Even better.
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