What I remember reading during the relase of the Gen2 insight ( also has the 100V pack and steel body) was that honda wanted to make a cheaper version of the Civic hybrid) to compete with prius offerings like the prius C...
I think gen2 insight started at $15.900 and Civic started around $22.000 us.
sales related - also shows what most car sales people knew about the cars specs.
At the time I didn't know about the 100v pack and only learned about it recently, while looking at used packs for the HCH2... And in my searching last year noticed honda advertizing the batteries as having 19% or 30% higher power density than the previous NiMH batteries used in the HCH2 and Accords of that time frame....
I'm quickly searching for data showing examples .. ah! here it is.
not quite half way ( near the middle of the wiki page)
The Insight's IMA is powered by a flat, nickel metal hydride battery pack located below the cargo floor between the rear wheels. The 84 module battery is manufactured by Sanyo Electric and provides a nominal system voltage of 100.8 volts with a nominal capacity of 5.75 ampere-hours. The power density of the modules is 30 percent greater than in the second generation Civic Hybrid. The battery is recharged automatically by scavenging engine power, when needed, and by regenerative braking when the car is decelerating. The power management electronics, battery modules, and cooling system are all self-contained within the IMA battery pack.
The other thing I remember being different was the 3 button IMA mode selection (Economy - Normal - Sport) again to compete with Toyota offerings at that time.... In my mind - the sport mode in a hybrid at that time from honda was compeietely against the ideals of building a hybrid in the first place (reduce emissions and increased mpg / kpl? - kilometers pre liter?) .
Although if memory servers me correctly? the sales people loved it, and so di the high performace drivers/modders.
also see the crz wiki page linked to near the bottom of the insight wiki page
Honda Civic Hybrid
List of hybrid vehicles
ps I really should change my profile signature, even though my HCH2 still show the same behavior as shown - I'll hopefully get around to it after my next pack switch out. change snuffs to degrades or something.