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One of my best friends used to work for Honda Canada, and at the risk of getting in BIG trouble, he told me of their plans. When he left, Honda was considering A) turning the Insight into a sub-compact 2-seat convertible or B) building a replacement that would seat four, yet is much smaller than the Civic.
 

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Making a halo high mileage car that is a convertible would be quite the trick. Convertibles have a notoriously poor aerodynamic shape, top up or down (it’s better with the top up but not good). Also convertibles carry a lot of extra weight around, especially if you want to have good crash performance.

A ’replacement’ that is smaller than a Civic and seats four sounds like a Fit with a hybrid drive.

The more interesting question, to me, would be what branch of the company did your friend work in? I had thought that those types of decisions would be made at the corporate headquarters in Tokyo. I have heard that they are very tight lipped, more so that any government official in the US.
 

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Tight lipped

I also heard of the hybrid plan for 2009. That's public info. They haven't said anything else. I'm torn. I keep customizing my baby, I won't want to trade it in, but someone told me the other day that they saw an article in Motortrend claiming the new one will get an advertised 80mpg :shock: imagine the hypermilers driving this one!
 

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Got this tidbit from channel4.com:

Honda hybrid
An all-new model, probably a standalone product to succeed the Insight. Not a hybrid version of the Fit/Jazz (although there will be one) but it could be based on the new city car (2008). Smaller than the Jazz, it'll be built in Japan for worldwide sales, with half of production destined for the US market.

Here is the link:
http://www.channel4.com/4car/feature/feature.jsp?id=157&page=2
 

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If it gets 80 MPG it will be a divine miracle. Not that I'm against that sort of thing. ;) Of course they are talking about the new Prius getting 100 MPG. :roll:

I still wouldn't trade in the Insight for one. Just my bias. :D
 

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Channel 4 have updated their website. The 2009 car could be "another oddball like the Insight" :?

Now we are in 2007, only two years to go!
 

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For what its worth, Road & Track has a blurb and image about a Honda "Hopped-up hybrid". Words like 'ambitious plans', 'genuine sports car' and '$20,000'
See page 27 of the December 06 issue.
 

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With the auto shows in LA and Detroit there seams to be a lot of information about hybrids and plug ins in the press. The Chevy plug in seams to be a styling mock up, no engineering to back up the concept but it looks with in the realm of possible. Toyota is saying that they will offer a hybrid version of all there cars. It is not clear if this includes the trucks, I would be interested to see how they approach a pick up.

Of interest to us is a report on an interview with Honda execs.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16526204/site/newsweek/

They compare this new vehicle to the Insight (with more seats) but they don’t really say much. From what they say it is really wide open, from a Fit with IMA to a real high mileage vehicle. I would really like to see what they have up there sleeve, they should ask there R&D engineers to work a little overtime.
 

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“We can envision something close to the Insight with five-passenger capacity and a relatively low price for mass-market consumers,” says Fukui.
This all sounds very speculative. Like the Volkswagen 3-seater that was supposed to get 120 mpg (140 highway). The CEO resigned and the idea was killed. Never happened.

Anything could happen between now and 2009..... like no Insight replacement. Just more versions of the civic.
 

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Why so gloomy Troy?

Do you think Honda is satisfied selling just Civic hybrids? Honda needs an instantly recognisable hybrid model like the Prius. With a 2009 target date, the 5 passenger model they are alluding to has been in serious developement for at least two years. At this stage Honda could probably publish full specs and photos with the exception of the paint colors. In 2009 they will be competing with the next generation Prius which will likey be bigger, more powerfull, more fuel efficient, more upscale, and more expensive.
 

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I'm tired of Vaporware. Companies promise things but don't deliver.

I will hold off buying a third insight
until I see this 4-seater. I prefer 4 seats so I can carry suitcases & such. BUT if it gets a disappointing 50mpg like the Civic, I won't be buying it.
 

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I'm tired of Vaporware. Companies promise things but don't deliver.
Precisely why I bought an Insight! There will unlikely be anything comparable for at least a decade. Holding off on buying another car is always the best decision on every level unless required for safety, efficiency, or necessity.
 

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Well, if Honda had stretched the insight just one more foot* (or eliminate the storage bin), they could have made a 2-door car with 4 seats that still got 68-70mpg on the highway. A 4-seater insight would have sold extremely well, because that's what consumers want.


* (Like a porsche, the rear seat would be tiny, but functional.)
 

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Recently several companies, including Honda addressed the US senate about the future of the automobile industry, especially with regard to green house gasses. In Hondas statement they show a graphic that places the Insight and the future hybrid car (Insight 2 ?) as not very sporty. I strongly suspect that the Small Hybrid Sports Concept that will be revealed at Geneva is not the Insight 2. Rather it is part of the effort to increase sales of the Civic Hybrid in Europe.

Honda’s testimony is an interesting read in general. The Graphic I am referencing is on page 8. The information about PHEV’s is also interesting. As for a 4 seat Insight being a best seller, Honda seams to think the hybrids are good for only 1.5% of sales at current cost.

http://energy.senate.gov/public/_files/ ... timony.doc
 
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