The Honda Insight will return this summer, and the production model will likely look very similar to this Insight Prototype at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.
As is clear from photos, the Insight will be built on the bones of the Honda Civic sedan, albeit with a new bodyshell with a different roofline intended to maximize aerodynamic performance. No, the 19-inch wheels on this show car won’t make it to production, but the basic shape and design should carry over. Promised features include LED lights front and rear, a full-digital instrument cluster, an eight-inch touchscreen (with physical volume knob), and standard Honda Sensing active-safety tech. The trunk is said to offer almost the same amount of space as in a regular Civic sedan. Unfortunately, the Insight also sports Honda’s awkward-to-use electronic shifter.
Under the skin is a new version of the two-motor hybrid powertrain used in the Accord Hybrid, though where the Accord has a 2.0-liter inline-four engine, the Insight will have a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle mill. Henio Arcangeli, general manager of American Honda, promises the new Insight will be more comfortable and more spacious than before, with “comparable” fuel efficiency to rivals. While he doesn’t name names, the Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota Prius are likely the Insight’s efficiency targets.
“Our strategy is to take electrified vehicles mainstream,” he says. “We want to offer great cars that happen to be electrified.”
Honda plans to electrify two-thirds of all its global models by 2030. While those plans include full-electrics and even fuel-cell vehicles; Arcangeli says “the majority will be hybrids or plug-in hybrids.”
With the Insight name dead since the 2014 model year, and a Civic Hybrid offered in previous years, why revive the Insight name now? James Jenkins, Honda public relations manager, says the name still has plenty of recognition with shoppers: “The Insight name resonated so well already in clinics.”
The new Honda Insight will be produced alongside other Civic variants (except the hatchback, which comes from the U.K.) in Greensburg, Indiana. While the previous Insight was assembled only in Japan, Jenkins notes that, “We want to build it where we sell it.”
The production 2019 Honda Insight is set to go on sale this summer.
Live Photos: Jake Holmes / Patrick Hoey / Motor1.com
Gallery: Honda Insight Prototype
All-New Honda Insight Prototype Redefines Segment while Expanding Honda's Electrified Vehicle Lineup
- All-new 2019 Honda Insight will offer universally appealing styling in a roomy five passenger sedan with fuel efficiency competitive with the best in the segment
- Powered by Honda's innovative, industry-leading two-motor hybrid powertrain Insight nameplate returns as the next phase in the Honda Electrification Initiative
The all-new Honda Insight Prototype will make its world debut on Jan. 15 at the North American International Auto Show, giving consumers a first glimpse of the latest model in Honda's growing lineup of electrified vehicles. Launching nationwide later this year, and positioned as a premium compact above Civic in the Honda passenger car lineup, Insight elevates itself above other compact hybrid models with its sleek sedan design, roomy five-passenger cabin, and refined driving performance, along with high fuel efficiency.
"The new 2019 Honda Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume."
The Insight Prototype boasts a sleek design with a low and wide stance, highlighted by Honda's signature "flying wing" grille and bold fascia, low-profile LED headlights and taillights married to sharp and dynamic character lines and a sweeping, long coupe-like roofline.
With its long wheelbase platform, the 2019 Honda Insight will offer class-leading passenger space and a host of premium features including available perforated leather seating, an 8-inch Display Audio capacitive touchscreen and a 7-inch digital LCD driver's meter. More intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality including customizable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with available Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates, further enhance Insight over its compact hybrid competitors.
The Insight will deliver class-leading power while still receiving an anticipated EPA fuel economy combined rating in excess of 50 mpg, competitive with other compact hybrid offerings. Powering the model will be a version of the third generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system, featuring a highly efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine, a powerful electric propulsion motor and lithium-ion battery pack. In most conditions, Insight operates on electric power only, drawing energy from the engine (operating as a generator) or battery pack. The hybrid batteries located under the rear seats provides for a full-size trunk with the flexibility of available 60/40 split and folding rear seats.
The 2019 Honda Insight will include Honda LaneWatch™ on EX and above and Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and new Traffic Sign Recognition.
The Insight will be manufactured at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant, alongside Civic and CR-V using domestic and globally sourced parts. Arriving later in 2018 as the fifth electrified vehicle launched by Honda over the past year, Insight will join the Clarity series (Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid) and the all-new 2018 Accord Hybrid, arriving at dealerships nationwide early this year.
At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Honda announced its Honda Electrification Initiative and the intention to make two-thirds of its global vehicle sales to be electrified vehicles by 2030, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles.