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Updated to reflect today's Detroit Auto Show unveiling. From the InsightCentral.net front page:

January 11, 2009 - Honda unveiled the 2010 Insight to the media on January 11 at the Detroit Auto Show. In a move to promote its new vehicle as a green car leader, Honda scheduled its U.S. debut for April 22, 2009, which happens to be Earth Day. As expected, The Insight's fuel-economy figures are slightly lower than the Prius', with EPA ratings of 40 and 43 mpg (city and highway, respectively). However, the Insight encourages a whole new level of efficient driving, in the form of a brand new Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). The Eco Assist is made-up of three principal components:
- an ECON mode that optimizes the CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission), engine and powertrain components to maximize fuel efficiency;
- a dashboard that changes background colors to provide real-time guidance to the driver on achieving the best fuel efficiency;
- and, the cutesiest feature of all, a green leaf graphic that scores driving efficiency for the current trip and lifetime of the vehicle.
While the last two items may seem gimmicky, they will almost certainly encourage new owners to adapt their driving styles to achieve greater fuel-efficiency, especially during the first few months of ownership.
The 2010 Insight is powered by an advanced 1.3-liter SOHC aluminum-alloy i-VTEC engine and CVT, along with a new generation of Honda's IMA hybrid system for exceptional fuel economy and fun-to-drive performance. The latest IMA system has come a long way since the introduction of the classic Insight 9 years ago. It incorporates a 10-kilowatt (13 hp) electric motor and a compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU), which recaptures and stores kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration, while supplying additional power for acceleration when needed, and features an ultra-compact IMA battery and IPU, both of which are located in the vehicle's rear floor. This allowed engineers to include a 60/40 split and fold-down rear seat back.
Perhaps most important, the Insight's IMA system has the capability to operate exclusively on electric power in certain low- to mid-speed driving conditions (much like Toyota's hybrid system). It also provides for cylinder deactivation within the gasoline engine during deceleration and for engine shutoff when the vehicle is stopped. With a 10.6-gallon fuel tank, the Insight delivers an estimated maximum driving range in excess of 400 miles.
In a show of unbridled optimism, American Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel contended the new Insight would introduce "Honda's fun-to-drive, versatile and fuel-efficient hybrid technology to an entirely new group of buyers that previously may not have considered a hybrid because of either image or cost." We can only hope this projection becomes a reality.


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From our post to the front page today:

January 8, 2009 - A week before the official Detroit Auto Show announcement, an Internet site has posted leaked pictures of an official 2010 Insight brochure. The catch? The printed materials are from Belgium, so U.S. specs may differ slightly from those of the European market. Revealed in the documents are a fuel efficiency figure of 4.6 l/100 km (or 51 mpg) and emissions information. The mpg calculation is for overall combined use (slightly below the current Prius' figure) and the EPA estimate will probably fall in the 42-47 mpg range.Head over to the CarScoop blog to view the leaked brochure.

My view is that the mpg figures are rather disappointing, even for a CVT. The current Prius has it beat and the 2010 Prius promises to improve on the previous generation, in terms of mpg.

Benjamin
 

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Re: 2010 Insight European mpg figures

THANKS!!! Finally some numbers that have some backing to them.

First, must keep in mind that this car is going to be a few grand less expensive than the Prius, correct?

What will be more interesting is if layman drivers will be able to hit this mileage, via the tools incorporated with the car. If so, for the price, this is pretty good for the market. You get a sharp vehicle that gets about 50% better mileage than the other typical vehicles. And of the higher mileage inexpensive cars, this vehicle has a bit more flash.

Sure, I doubt we'll see hypermilers flocking to this vehicle, but people must get real, this isn't about developing a test a car to get 100 mpg, it was about mass producing an affordable, more utility and much more fuel efficient vehicle (than the typical car) to help Honda make money and compete for the Prius market.

Honestly, the next real leap for vehicles, with fingers crossed and wood thoroughly knocked, will be the Volt (it is recommended that breath not be held ;)).
 

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Re: 2010 Insight European mpg figures

JimmyHiggins said:
First, must keep in mind that this car is going to be a few grand less expensive than the Prius, correct?... What will be more interesting is if layman drivers will be able to hit this mileage, via the tools incorporated with the car. If so, for the price, this is pretty good for the market.
Great point. Yes, the new "Insight" will cost less than the Prius. As with the Prius, drivers who have really long commutes may be able to achieve these figures but those who take shorter trips will most likely not get anywhere close.
Insightful Trekker said:
Looks like we hypermilers have to hold out hope for some type of MPG performance version of the CR-Z.
Yes! Too bad Honda has had to cut its R&D budget (as already discussed here)... but I am still hopeful the heritage of the classic Insight will be carried over into a production CR-Z.
 

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Re: 2010 Insight European mpg figures

I'm still looking for a very practical piece of information on the new Insight -- how roomy are the back seats? More or less legroom than the Civic Hybrid? Significantly less than the Prius, which is actually quite roomy back there?
 

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I like some of the insight details, the arial, the hidden boot, I miss the space age wheels but love the dash, especially the sat nav version. I have read that early testers are getting 63 mpg (US) in this car, it is lighter and smaller than the HCH so I hope it improves on my 3.6 to 4.1 l/100km in my civic hybrid. (for a big heavy car this is quite good)

Doubt it will get the 2.7 l/100km I acheive in by beloved Insight.

Oh and please not "classic insight" it is just a Insight it was first and it is the best. perhaps insight 5 door describes the new car.
 

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Interesting. Well it would make sense for it to be smaller than the Civic Hybrid, otherwise the market for the civic hybrid would dry up.

But if it's smaller than the HCH, then it's smaller than the Prius. That is going to make widespread appeal more difficult. The lower cost will help some, but we don't yet know how much flexibility Toyota has on its margins. It could choose to offer a lower-cost Prius to knock the new Insight out, unless their manufacturing costs are really that much more than Honda's for this class of vehicle.

Steve
 

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The new insight looks to hopefully get people out of their very average 27mpg cars and into solid 45-50mpg cars for a minor cost premium which is AMAZING....but the new insight is no competition in terms of mpg, especially since the the original 5spd has lean burn, and even if you were to compare CVT Original against CVT New, the Original would undoubtedly come in as the winner as it weighs 700lbs less, has a lower cd, and sports a significantly less thirsty engine due to mere proportional differences.
 

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re: MPG test: Yeah -- color me disappointed. Thanks for the pointer. I'm sure the new Insight will get some customers, but it will not be the success that the Prius has been, in terms of volume and notoriety. It's not clear how much market space the Insight can claim. The three big issues vs. the Prius are 1) more cramped rear seats, 2) lower MPG on the sticker (this likely matters more than real-world MPG in sales numbers -- the Prius can still claim "most fuel-efficient car sold in America"!), and 3) lack of the "gee whiz" factor of silent motion.

Honda can win here only on price (maybe -- we'll see what the real-world price differences ends up being), and people who really don't like the way Toyotas drive (me included). But is that enough?

Steve
 

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I would hope the new Insight might attract more buyers for these reasons:

1. It is cheaper.
2. Honda Rules, and Toyota doesn't Rule.
3. The Prius is frumpy and lacks any sense of virility.
4. Honda Rules.
 

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I honestly hope you're right, and I say that as a (small-time) HMC stockholder :).

Steve
 

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budomove said:
I would hope the new Insight might attract more buyers for these reasons:

1. It is cheaper.
2. Honda Rules, and Toyota doesn't Rule.
3. The Prius is frumpy and lacks any sense of virility.
4. Honda Rules.

Plus as I drive down PCH from here to Santa Monica I can easily count 2 dozen
Prius. So "new factor" will account for some more sales. ie: trade in the
Prius for something new.
 

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re: trade-ins of Priuses

Well, I don't know -- I suppose if they don't mind giving up the better headroom and legroom in the back seats, they might. Sorry -- I'm focused on rear seat space these days, after trying to install an infant car seat in a car that I thought would accommodate it easily (Audi S4). It didn't fit. In a friend's Prius? No problem. I was hoping the new Insight would be a nice companion to our current Insight, but the whole point is to get a reasonable back seat. I'm tired of forcing my 6-foot friends (and soon a baby) into the back of cars that are 2 inches too short.

On a similar but different note, I think it's kinda crazy that Honda doesn't make a hybrid CR-V. They would sell a ton of them, IMHO.

Steve
 

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Insightful said:
I think it's kinda crazy that Honda doesn't make a hybrid CR-V. They would sell a ton of them, IMHO.

Steve
Good point.

The new insight back seat doesn't look too bad, I guarantee it is leaps and bounds better than the audi. The A4 and A3 do both have deceivingly crappy backseats. Seatbacks are way too upright with zero adjustability? not much legroom, and the A3 legroom is like a mid 90s civic hatch. At 6'1" I have to angle my head side ways as I sit in both the new A3 and A4. So uncomfortable. The front seats are great though. :D
 

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BTW everyone here should encourage as many people to purchase a New Insight (I2) for a couple of reasons, 1.) it encourages efficient low emission driving, 2.) it rewards Honda, clearly the most environmental car company 3.) a sales success for the Insight 2 will guarantee that we get the Insight CR-Z. So every one of you, our US brothers out you go and sell, sell, sell
 

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I think the new INSIGHT will sell itself! Especially when the fuel costs start rising faster.

Good loking car, well-made, efficient and is a good value.

As far as rear seat comfort, I don't think it will be a factor in the US, since a vast majority of the sales will come from SUVs/trucks, and those buyers will already be expecting smaller accomodations.
Just look at this huge trunk! I can fit my current Insight in here. (AUSSIEINSITE, How am I doing?)

 
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