Insight targets entry segment as gateway to hybrid technology
The all-new 2010 Honda Insight hybrid hatchback goes on sale on Earth Day, April 22, with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $23,900 for the Insight LX.
The distinctively styled, 5-passenger, 5-door dedicated hybrid vehicle is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist(TM) (IMA(TM)) system comprised of a 1.3-litre i-VTEC(R) gasoline engine and a 10-kilowatt electric motor that together contribute to a Transport Canada fuel economy rating of 4.8 L/100 km (city) and 4.5 L/100 km (highway). The Insight features the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist(TM)), an innovation that can further enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback related to individual driving styles.
"Honda Insight is designed to bring hybrid technology within closer reach for many new car buyers in Canada with its affordable pricing," said Jerry Chenkin, executive vice president of Honda Canada Inc. "In addition to making sound environmental sense with higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions, hybrid technology is now entering an era where it can also make financial sense for a broader range of customers."
A sleek exterior blends design elements from the original 2000 Insight's highly aerodynamic side profile with a front-end design similar to the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity, a marquee environmental product for Honda. The interior offers a roomy passenger environment with a configurable rear seating and cargo area that benefits from 60/40 split fold-down seats.
Standard features on the Insight LX include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags; anti-lock braking system; a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT); Eco Assist(TM); automatic climate control; tilt-and-telescopic steering column; cruise control; manual driver's seat height adjustment; power windows; a four-speaker AM/FM audio system with CD player; auxiliary audio input for external digital music players; and much more.
A premium version of the Insight is also available. The Insight EX, with an MSRP of $27,500, adds Honda's Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Bilingual Voice Recognition; Vehicle Stability Assist(TM) (VSA(R)); Bluetooth(R) HandsFreeLink(R); alloy wheels; steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters; an upgraded audio system with six speakers; USB audio interface; a centre console with armrest and storage compartment; heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals; and more.
The navigation system on the Insight EX provides routing and guidance to individual addresses and more than 7 million points of interest in North America. The Bluetooth(R) HandsFreeLink(R) provides hands-free operation of compatible mobile telephones, along with related steering wheel-mounted controls for voice activation of the navigation and hands-free telephone systems.
A 4-cylinder engine with intelligent variable valve timing and a DC brushless electric motor forms the foundation of the IMA(TM) hybrid system. The electric motor, positioned in-line between the engine and the transmission, adds power during acceleration and in certain cruising situations, and recaptures energy from the vehicle's forward momentum during braking.
The Insight's IMA(TM) system can operate exclusively on electric power in certain low- to mid-speed cruising conditions. It can also provide cylinder deactivation during deceleration and an idle-stop feature when the vehicle is stationary.
The Insight introduces Eco Assist(TM) to help drivers achieve improved real-world fuel economy. Eco Assist(TM) is a feature designed to help drivers optimize fuel efficiency for their given set of driving conditions. Pressing a dash-mounted ECON button can further enhance the efficiency of multiple vehicle systems, including throttle control, CVT operation, idle-stop duration, air conditioning and cruise-control operation.
Eco Assist(TM) also provides feedback about driving style via a 3D-appearing background within the speedometer. The background changes colours from blue to green to reflect how efficiently or inefficiently the driver is accelerating or braking. The driver's results are continuously tracked as fuel economy ratings are shown per drive cycle and on a lifetime basis in the form of plant-leaf graphics that appear in the Multi-Information Display (MID). Up to five leaves can be 'earned' as the driver demonstrates a fuel-efficient driving style. A real-time score is shown in the Eco Guide MID screen.
Standard safety features on all Insights include dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags; front-side airbags with a passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbag system; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution (EBD); driver's and front-passenger's active head restraints; and a front body designed to mitigate pedestrian injuries. Insight also features Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE(TM)) body structure, which provides improved frontal-crash compatibility between vehicles of differing size and ride height.
Honda Canada, now in its 40th year of operation in Canada, manufactures the Honda Civic sedan and coupe, and the Acura CSX and MDX at its two plants in Alliston, Ontario, and produces fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines at its engine plant adjacent to the Honda manufacturing facilities.